The Maine Disability Determination Service (DDS) has closed because of the federal shutdown. Each state has a DDS. The DDS is a state agency which works under contract with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to do disability determinations at the initial and reconsideration levels. Because of the federal shutdown, SSA no longer has any money to pay for DDS operations. While SSA can order some of its employees to work during the shutdown, it cannot order a DDS to remain in operation. Many, perhaps most, states are in financial distress making it difficult for them to keep their DDS operating without reimbursement. It would be hard for a state to not meet its payroll for DDS employees while continuing to pay other state employees and there are other expenses, such as for consultative examinations. My state, North Carolina, has already stopped ordering consultative medical examinations and has suspended the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. Probably, the only reason that North Carolina DDS hasn't already been shut down is that its payroll isn't due until the end of the month. I'm afraid that Maine may just be the first in a stream of DDS closures.
By the way, Maine DDS was already way behind and was getting help from the Vermont DDS.