Apr 6, 2011

What Does "Limited Services" Mean?


A Message To All SSA Employees

Subject: An Important Message From Commissioner Astrue

Throughout the discussions about funding for the rest of the fiscal year, the President has made it clear that he does not want a government shutdown, and the Administration is ready and willing to work day and night to find a solution with which Congress can agree. Given the realities of the calendar, however, prudent management requires that I plan for an orderly shutdown should Congress fail to pass a funding bill.

The President and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts Federal employees in a difficult position, and are very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many employees as well as the groups and individuals we serve. As we approach the expiration of the current CR, our leadership team will provide you with updated information as soon as it becomes available. For now, I want to provide you with information on how the potential shutdown -- should it occur -- will affect Federal employees.

As soon as funding lapses, Federal agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations, except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities. This means that some employees will be furloughed and unable to work. Our contingency planning for the potential funding lapse includes determining which agency functions are excepted from a furlough. We plan to continue services associated with the White House's statement that Social Security checks will continue to go out. Our field and hearing offices, teleservice and program service centers, and State disability determination services will provide limited services if there is a shutdown. Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive details from your supervisor no later than Friday, April 8th regarding your furlough status.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created a document to address some of the questions that I know must be on your mind. The document can be accessed at www.opm.gov/furlough2011. OPM will provide additional pertinent information for Federal employees as the week progresses. We will do our best to provide clear information about the status of events as the week progresses.

I know how difficult it is for you to handle the uncertainty of what may happen next week, and I appreciate your determination to continue serving America even during this tough time.

Michael J. Astrue


Anonymous said...

Why are the republicans wanting large budget cuts when the economy is getting better?

Anonymous said...

"Why are the republicans wanting large budget cuts when the economy is getting better?"

All this talk of cuts is BS. The deficit is close to a trillion and the budget is 4 plus billion and they are fighting over 33 or 60 billion in cuts.

Anonymous said...

COSS's statement is appropriately vague. I say close the entire agency down, unlike the wimpy half-a***ed shutdown in 1995. Let the public give the response.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Anonymous #3. If they say shut it down, then shut it down. The American people will never understand what the Federal government does for them unless they suffer the consequences of this ridiculous Congressional game-playing. During the 1990s, eventually most of the agencies were functionally on some level even though employees were not getting paid. If these Congressional babies cannot play nice, then the American people need to see it and feel it and consider this in 2012!

Anonymous said...

Send the air traffic controllers home, send the border patrol home, tell the ships to turn around because there are no customs agents to clear their cargo. Tell Raytheon we can't pay for the cruise missles, tell Ford and GM we can't buy any cars, and tell HP we can't buy any computers.

Americans live in a crazy world where they believe Federal spending consists of gathering giant bundles of dollars and burning them or dumping them in the sea. That wasteful government spending provides jobs for many times more people than the Federal workforce.