As the United States government shuts down for the second time since President Trump took office, the November deadline has many Americans wondering what will happen to their Social Security payments and other services. The government has been in a partial shutdown since December 22nd, 2018, when the White House and Congress failed to agree on a budget for 2019. The President has asserted that the only way to gain his support for a budget is for additional funding to be included for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. As the November deadline approaches, the government will be reaching its breaking point unless a budget agreement is reached. Social security is an especially uncertain area during the shutdown. According to the Social Security Administration, benefits will continue to be paid as normal due to the program’s status as an entitlement program. However, certain services will be affected, including call centers and online applications to new benefits. Any cost of living adjustments due to inflation will be delayed until the budget is approved. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of separated federal employees have been without paychecks for weeks, and many are experiencing major financial strains. Furloughed government workers won’t receive back pay until the shutdown is over. To make matters worse, the curtailing of certain services is already making a big impact in certain communities, a phenomenon referred to as the “shutdown tax.” For example, in some rural areas, the shutdown is making delayed or unpaid medical expenses increasingly difficult for lower income families. Small businesses that rely on federal contracts have also been hit hard, since they are stuck in limbo while the government works out a budget. The shutdown is creating a wide range of problems across the board, and it appears there is no end in sight. However, it is critical that the government finds a way to quickly and effectively address the country’s fiscal challenges, before the November deadline and beyond. If the situation is not resolved soon, there may be serious implications for the U.S. economy and millions of Americans.