What happens to federal services if the gov't shuts down?

Thursday - 2/24/2011, 9:58am EST

Will Social Security checks be delayed?

WTOP's Michelle Basch has the answer.

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WASHINGTON -- Suspicions that Congress will not be able to produce a budget by the March 4 deadline has many worrying: What will happen if the government shuts down?

Regardless of the state of the government, parts of some agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, will remain open and available.

"Checks are still expected to roll, deposits are still expected to be made," says Francis Rose, an anchor at WTOP sister station Federal News Radio.

The administration underestimated how many employees they needed to handle the number of applicants during the last government shutdown from 1995 to 1996, he says, and had to call some furloughed employees back to work.

"We're going to probably see some folks stay on the job, but not the entire agency."

Whether a federal employee is required to show up to work is dependent on if their job is considered essential, Rose says, such as airport security personnel.

The model that will be applied is "Are these people required to show up, say, during Snowmageddon?"

Transportation Security Administration screeners did show up at airports, even though they were closed and nobody was flying, Rose says.

"I believe what we'll see is that they're depended on to keep the business of the United States going. That's going to be deemed essential and they will show up to work."

For more information about a government shutdown, check out these FAQs from FederalNewsRadio.com.

WTOP's Michelle Basch contributed to this report. Follow Michelle and WTOP on Twitter.

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