Seniors Worry Debt Ceiling May Affect Social Security Checks


By Catalina Trivino

The partial federal government shutdown may now impact social security checks. If Congress can't raise the debt ceiling and pass a spending bill by next Thursday, people who usually get a social security check, may not get one...

Economic analysts tell us 20 percent of people in Montgomery receive social security checks -- that's about 1 of 5 people, many of them being senior citizens, who say they're watching this situation in Washington very closely. They say a lot is at stake and it could affect their livelihood.

"There's my water bill and my power bill... and if they don't do something about all this mess and we lose our social security, we'll be in a rough situation," Said 78-year-old, Phyllis Armstrong. The situation she is talking about is about our nation's debt ceiling crisis. And Armstrong says she's keeping a close watch on what's happening in Washington.

As congressional leaders and President Obama attempt to iron out a deal, some worry what will happen if lawmakers don't agree by their deadline -- October 17. Armstrong says she's concerned with what will happen to her social security checks then.

"If you don't have your money coming in, you can't buy your groceries, can't pay your utilities, can't buy your medicine... and you have to have your medicine. I'm a diabetic!" Said Armstrong.

Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby, issued a statement saying: "I will fight any attempt to drag our country into defaulting on our debt. We can't allow a situation which threatens our economic well-being, plus the benefits and services our seniors depend on."

But Economic analyst, Jeff Bates, believes people like Armstrong will continue to get their checks because they are mandated by law to be paid.

"This is just a powder keg and it's turned into a political quagmire between Republicans and Democrats and we're going to see who flinches firest, but the bad thing is no one is going to win if we don't get something resolved very quickly," Said Bates.

And it's a resolution Armstrong says she already practices in her own home.

"The government needs to write their own, make a list of what they have to do, the money they have to have and never wait until the last minute. Do you think we wait until the second day of the month to decide if we're going to survive the third?" Said Armstrong.

Legislators hope to temporarily extend the government's ability to borrow to meet its obligations.... But it's a "wait and see" deal now on whether President Obama will sign it.

There has been some action on the government shutdown. U.S. House Speaker, John Boehner, has proposed a short-term increase in the federal debt limit if President Obama agrees to negotiate with Republicans on a broader budget deal.

Alabama News Network will keep you updated on the latest of negotiations.

What's onFull Schedule

Hot Video From AP

AP Video