The current confrontation between Congress and the White House over the issue of raising the ceiling on the national debt has raised concerns among Social Security recipients that August benefit checks may be delayed.

On Tuesday, President Obama created a flurry of concern that some of these fears may be real when he stated that he could not guarantee that the 27 million government benefit checks would be mailed on schedule next month. The checks are for benefits due to retirees as well as disabled persons.

The issue seems to be a disagreement between members of Congress over how to reduce government spending and how to deal with the current deficit and current multi-trillion dollar national debt. A ceiling on the current deficit limits the amount of money that the federal government is legally empowered to borrow and use for ongoing government operations.

Though the deadline to reach an agreement is fast approaching, there have been no reports of a compromise or deal. But what does this mean for Social Security recipients?

A White House spokesperson has already assured the country that Social Security checks will not be delayed. To address the issue, one government official believes that giving President Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional approval could help. There was little support for this proposal.

Ultimately, it appears that those who rely on Social Security do not have to worry that they will not receive their monthly check. As mentioned above, these types of benefits are typically intended for people who are no longer able to support themselves through employment. A lapse in Social Security income could leave beneficiaries in a financially tight spot, unable to afford medication, food, or even rent.

Source: CBS News online, “White House seeks to calm storm after Social Security comments,” Lucy Madison, 13 July2011