How Will the Government Shutdown Impact Your Claims?

CMS, Medicare Set-Asides, Social Security on December 24, 2018
Posted by Jean S. Goldstein, JD, CMSP

What would year end 2018 be without some additional news that may impact your claims?  As our readers are likely aware, we are in a partial government shutdown, and on the surface, it may appear that many of us who deal with workers’ compensation claims will not be affected.  However, you might be surprised how the shutdown will impact your claims.  While Social Security benefits will continue to be paid, some nonessential employees of the Social Security Administration will be furloughed, and therefore Social Security benefit verifications will not be processed.  As a side note, the issuing of new Social Security cards will also temporarily halt.

In 2013, the last time we experienced a shutdown, many of the employees of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s (CMS) Regional Offices (the offices which are responsible for issuing approvals for Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Asides (WCMSAs) submitted through the voluntary review process) were also furloughed.  As a result, the CMS Regional Offices were unable to issue any WCMSA approval letters.  Should this occur once again, it will likely impact the current turnaround time for receiving WCMSA approval letters, which is holding steady at about 30 calendar days (or 20 business days.)

We will be sure to keep our readers updated as to how the shutdown may adversely affect your claims.