As Congress and the president battle it out and the government shuts down, millions of Americans worry about what it means for them, especially the Social Security checks, Medicare, and Medicaid that they rely on, particularly during the holiday season. The good news is that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare payments won’t be interrupted by the partial shutdown. All three programs are considered mandatory spending and are not affected by a federal budget debate. New applicants to the programs, however, may experience delays in processing. The U.S. Postal Service will also remain funded, so checks should arrive in the mail on time.