The federal government is currently in a shutdown after federal funding lapsed at midnight on Friday, December 21. I am disappointed that President Trump refuses to accept a bipartisan compromise that funds our government, and am working to resolve this situation.
Our office remains open during a government shutdown. If you have issues involving a federal agency and need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or by calling (847) 383-4870.
Below are some frequently asked questions about how a government shutdown may affect you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I continue to receive my Social Security and SSI checks?
During a government shutdown, recipients will continue to receive their Social Security and SSI checks. However, a shutdown suspends the issuance of Social Security cards. On a typical day, approximately 60,000 Americans apply for Social Security cards, which they may need to be able to start a job, take out a loan, open a bank account, or conduct other financial transactions. During a shutdown, no Social Security cards are issued.
Will my mail still arrive?
Yes. The approximately 500,000 Postal Service employees are exempt from furlough because the Postal Service is self-funded.
Will my holiday travel be affected?
The shutdown should not have a significant impact on your travel. TSA agents, customs agents and air traffic controllers continue to work even if the government shuts down. Amtrak will operate normally during a shutdown. People will still be able to obtain passports and visas.
What is the impact on veterans’ services?
VA is fully funded for fiscal year 2019, and in the event of a partial government shutdown, all VA operations will continue unimpeded.
Will I still be able to visit the national parks and monuments?
The National Parks Service said parks “will remain as accessible as possible.” In the three-day government shutdown in January, gates to about two-thirds of national parks and monuments remained open
“However services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds and full-service restrooms will not be operating,” according to a statement from the National Parks Service.
Which federal agencies will be affected?
The following services will continue during a shutdown:
- Veterans Health Administration will remain open and continue to provide medical services.
- Veterans Affairs call centers, hotlines, and regional offices will remain open.
- Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
- The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
- Medicare and Medicaid claims will continue to be processed.
- Active military will continue serving.
- Air traffic controllers, prison guards, TSA agents and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
- NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station.
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices will remain open.
The following services will be halted during a shutdown:
- New applications for small business loans will be halted.
- Permits and reviews for transportation projects will be halted except in cases of emergency.
- Consumer protection services (child product safety, financial security, etc.) will be halted.
- Non-essential Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems will be halted.
- Non-essential federal employees at unfunded agencies, including but not limited to the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Homeland Security, will be immediately furloughed without pay.
- Loans to rural communities will be halted.
The following services will continue in a limited capacity but may be halted in an extended shutdown:
- SNAP, school lunch benefits, and other nutrition programs may be limited in an extended shutdown.
- Tax refunds may be delayed by the IRS.
- Passports will continue to be issued by the State Department, but processing of applications may be delayed or halted in an extended shutdown or at certain locations.
What assistance is available for government employees who are furloughed or working without pay?
In Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker's office is working with banks and credit unions to assist furloughed federal workers with outstanding mortgage payments, student loans, and car loans during this difficult time. A number of banks and credit unions across the state have agreed to provide aid ranging from deferments on loans to 0 percent interest to assisting individuals on a case-by-case basis. More information is available at: