At this point, we are almost in week three of the Government Shutdown caused by a budget disagreement in Washington DC. Nine of the 15 federal agencies are not currently funded and are closed. Fortunately, at this time, the agencies that administer Social Security are still funded and working. Currently, Federal workers who work for the Social Security Agency are not furloughed and the local offices, as well as the hearing offices, are operating normally. So, if you have a pending claim that has not yet gone to hearing, the shutdown should have no effect on your wait time. Similarly, if you are already receiving benefits, the workers responsible for processing those payments have not been furloughed and so you should receive benefits as usual.
However, if you have a disability claim pending in the Federal Courts, your case is likely being affected. The Department of Justice, the Agency responsible for defending Federal claims for Social Security, is closed and so those cases currently docketed are on "pause" until funding is restored. Once funding is restored, new deadlines will be set and the hearing of those cases will resume. If you have any questions, or are concerned about whether your benefits will be affected, please do not hesitate to contact our office.