LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — If you’ve been keeping up with the government, you know Congress is scrambling. They have less than two weeks to raise or extend the debt limit or else the country won’t have the funds to pay their bills. It’s left many people wondering how this will affect their monthly income.
At the end of September U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress the country would soon run out of money if Congress doesn’t deal with the debt ceiling by Oct. 18th.
Her warnings have sparked a wave of questions and rumors, making their rounds on social media. The THV11 VERIFY team has received several emails from concerned viewers, asking: “If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by the deadline, will social security payments be affected?”
The answer is YES.
Our sources – The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, U.S. Department of Treasury and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Let’s first define ‘debt limit’. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury – it’s the total amount of money the U.S. government is allowed to borrow to meet its existing obligations. Now if congress fails to increase the limit – there would be catastrophic economic consequences that would cause the government to default on its legal obligations. An unprecedented event in American history.
Scott Hardin with the state’s DFA says, “Social Security payments would likely be affected as a result of failure to raise the debt ceiling. However, the specific impact is unknown as Social Security does have a Trust Fund that could be utilized if regular federal funding is unavailable. Whether payments could be made in a timely manner (from the money in the Trust Fund) is another uncertainty.”
So we can verify – it is TRUE the government would not be able to pay all of the country’s bills - including social security checks – if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling.
If you have something you’d like VERIFED, email us – verify @ thv11.com