Getting Answers: How the debt ceiling impacts social security checks | News


SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–A Western Mass News viewer reached out to our newsroom today, concerned how the debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling could impact her social security checks moving forward.

Negotiations remain on-going in Washington to get to a solution before the deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit passes, sending the US into default. Many outcomes hang in the balance right now, we took one viewer’s concerns directly to house ways and means chairman, Congressman Richard Neal to get answers.

“We were pretty terrified for a couple of days, thinking what are we gonna do? How are we going to manage? Where are we going to live?” said Katherine Lovell of Springfield.

Katherine Lovell reached out to Western Mass News worried about the back and forth in Congress over the national debt ceiling. There is growing concern that the government will run out of money unless the national debt ceiling is raised by October 18th. Lovell wants to know if her social security checks could be in jeopardy.

“My husband’s disabled, fairly severely, and I am retired. And all we have is our social security income,” said Lovell.

With a potential economic collapse looming large, we took Lovell’s concerns to Congressman Richard Neal, who serves as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in Washington.

“They’re gonna get their checks. I think this issue is going to be resolved,” said Rep. Neal.

There is conflict across party lines about raising the federal borrowing limit. And if lawmakers cannot come to an agreement, the government would default and could be catastrophic for the national economy. And that’s cause for concern for Lovell.

“It’s scary to have a major plan like that seemingly about to collapse,” said Lovell.

Rep. Neal told Western Mass News, certain government expenses should not be in play.

“Social security, veterans benefits, these are obligations we have that assured people of and they need to be honored,” said Rep. Neal.

But this is uncharted territory, the United States has never defaulted on credit.

And for Lovell, a resolution would come as an enormous weight off her shoulders.

“A huge sigh of relief, you know, we’re not gonna lose our house, things can pretty much go on as normal,” said Lovell.

The Senate plans to hold a procedural vote today, to advance a bill that has already passed in the house, to suspend the nation’s debt limit until December 2022.

We will keep you updated with any developments.

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