By and large, we do not expect the shutdown to cause a stoppage of checks. The local offices are open and continue to take new applications as well.
However, the hearings offices are running on a skeleton crew; just judges and key support staff. Even though hearings will continue to take place, getting decisions out the door may be delayed. Additionally, the normal work being done by the hearings offices (writing pre-hearing decisions, processing documentation, scheduling new hearings, prepping cases for hearings, etc) will most likely cause immediate delays as well as for a few weeks after the shutdown is over. The Appeals Council is shut down as well.
Of course, we have no idea of when the shutdown will end.
Schad and Schad will keep you posted as changes continue to take place and we begin to understand the true impact of the shutdown.