mid-Missourians feel effects of government shutdown

Some people in mid-Missouri are already feeling the effects of a government shutdown in the form of reduced services from federal agencies.

The Social Security Administration in Jefferson City is still open for business, although their staff won't offer a complete range of services until the shutdown ends.

District Manager Ruth Taylor said as a result of the shutdown, their office won't be able to offer the following services:

  • Applying in person for a replacement Social Security card;

  • Applying in person for a replacement Medicare card;

  • Benefit verification for individuals or third parties;

  • Issue proof of income letters

The 17 federal workers the Jefferson City Branch employs were furloughed along with thousands of other employees beginning October 1.

However, Taylor said since her office interacts directly with the public, they were deemed "essential employees" and are required to report to work.

She said she is glad to have the opportunity to keep working.

"We're still here to help," Taylor said. "There will be no interruption in payment of Social Security checks or direct deposit."

Taylor said until Washington can come to an agreement on how to fund the federal government, she can't be sure when her staff will be paid. She said she hopes the situation is resolved by the end of the week.

Lester Edwards was surprised to learn that he wouldn't be able to get a replacement card in person. He said that having to apply online will delay his ability to start work.

"It's going to cause me some issues at work," Edwards said. "I don't know when I'm going to be able to start. They need my paperwork, my two forms of identification before I can start back."

"It's nonsense," Edwards said. "I think it's nonsense, and I wonder why it's allowed to continue to happen."

Others in Jefferson City said they felt the same way.

"They're dealing with people's emotions," said auto mechanic Chad Kussman. "They're dealing with people's job security, people's financial liabilities."

"It's kind of like a married couple, they just need to talk it out and figure it out real quick," Kussman said.

In the meantime, citizens everywhere will have to cope with reduced services until the shutdown ends.