Coye Law Social Security - February 2019


Chronicle February 2019 Edition

Wade Coye Attorney

Major Income Disruptions

And How They Affect Our Psyches

As I’m writing this article, the government is open again — well, sort of. It’s been reopened temporarily, but there’s no guarantee another shutdown isn't on the horizon. Regardless of what happens after Feb. 15, we still went through the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Regardless of how you feel about a wall, you have to be shocked to hear that more than 400,000 federal employees worked for over a month without pay. These essential workers include many of the folks who keep us safe, including those in the following list:

of their ability. What I am saying is that these disruptions in pay have an impact subconsciously. They hurt your psyche and makes it harder to perform at your best. I think anyone would classify a month without pay as a major income disruption. An event like this has a major effect on your ability to function. Most people aren’t in a position to stop earning for a month. When gainfully employed federal workers are lining up at food banks, something is very wrong. I empathize with the struggles federal workers are dealing with, because I work with people facing income disruptions every day. When you’re injured or struggling to receive benefits, you worry about money. I’ve spoken to people with serious, life-altering injuries who are more worried about their financial ailments than their physical ones. That’s how dire it can be to have your income stream disappear. It affects you, your family, and — when hundreds of thousands experience it at once — the economy at large. Whether the cause of an income disruption is a government shutdown or getting hit by an 18-wheeler, the results are the same. Not knowing how you’ll pay the bills is a scary proposition. Luckily, our federal employers have received their back pay. We help folks who are injured or otherwise indisposed get their version of the same outcome. It’s a responsibility we're honored to take on. -Wade Coye

2,614 ATF agents

54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs offers

16,742 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers

42,000 Coast Guard employees

13,709 FBI agents

3,600 deputy U.S. marshals

As many as 5,000 Forest Service firefighters

4,399 DEA agents

3,600 Weather Service forecasters

53,000 TSA employees

Let me ask you this: How much more effort would you put into your job if you weren’t being paid for it? When you think about the people who ensure terrorists don’t get on an airplane or those who protect our shores and realize they were working with their wages withheld, it paints a scary picture. Financial strain is one of the easiest ways to put somebody under stress. That stress in turn leads to bad decisions. A DEA agent shouldn’t have to think about where their next meal will come from while they’re trying to keep illegal drugs off the streets. Now, I would never imply these workers were phoning it in for the 35 days they were asked to show up for work without any guarantee of when they’d be paid. I firmly believe that the overwhelming majority of these employees did their jobs to the best


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