This weekend, the United States goverment has gone into a partial shutdown, and for many reasons, people are concerned. One of the reasons for concern is whether or not this shutdown will effect Social Security and Social Security disability payments. There are two ways to look at this situation: 1) for those already receiving payments; and, 2) for those who are applying or who have applied and awaiting a decision. 

1) Your payments should continue. 

Because Social Security retirement and disability payments are part of long term programs, generally, a partial shutdown should not effect the current payments of beneficiaries. According to Business Insider, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued a "shutdown contingency plan" which states that for the most part the programs and benefits under SSA should continue despite the shutdown. This should be a sigh of relief for those who are already receiving benefits. 

2) There may be delays in ongoing applications. 

Unfortunately, during a partial shutdown, certain aspects of the day to day work of SSA may be effected. There is conflicting information of whether employees will be placed on furlough (or on leave of absence) while this is going on. If that is the case, this could delay the process and review of applications depending on whether employees are allowed to work. Otherwise, these programs should still continue to operate as usual.