ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York Senator Chuck Schumer has revealed today that the debt ceiling would be an “economic nightmare” for Upstate New York families.

Senator Schumer mentioned in a press conference Wednesday, January 25 that Upstate New York is especially sensitive to the issue and they would take the hit if House Republicans plan to stop paying the nation’s bills and default on the debt.

If the government defaults on the current debt, the Senator said this would risk benefits for over 1.8 million Upstate New Yorkers on Social Security, who receive $3 billion in benefits each month.

This would threaten the health of those on Medicare, slow the care for veterans and risk disruptions for SNAP participants. This would also lead to even higher mortgage rates and housing costs, which are already at a record high.

Schumer wants to ensure America continues to pay its bills on time.

“We cannot let the extreme views of a few who want to play chicken with the debt ceiling and recklessly risk driving the American economy off the cliff put Upstate New York families wallets at risk. This is not an abstract issue, if these irresponsible extremists fail to allow America to pay its bills and default, Upstate New Yorkers could see real dollars from so much of what they own disappear from their monthly Social Security checks, their retirement savings, their home value,” said Senator Schumer. “America pays its debts, period. If our colleagues across the aisle continue to appease the extreme views of their party on risking default, it is going to be Medicare recipients in Buffalo, veterans in Rochester, Social Security recipients in Albany, and Upstate New York families who pay the price.”

Here are the following reasons why Upstate New Yorkers have to worry about the debt ceiling:

Social Security Benefits would decrease

According to Schumer, a debt default would be catastrophic for Upstate New York’s retirees who could lose an estimated $20,000 in retirement savings.

RegionSocial Security Recipients at Risk of Benefit DisruptionEstimated Benefits Received Each Month
Western NY318,700$498,208,000
Capital Region285,800$455,424,000
Finger Lakes283,570$456,812,000
Central New York246,055$380,611,000
North Country101,370$145,773,000
Hudson Valley440,850$776,917,000
Southern Tier181,410$272,861,000

Medicare Payments disrupted

A debt ceiling would also threaten the ability of New Yorkers on Medicare to receive and/or pay for healthcare. New York State could see 3,766,000 Medicare beneficiaries lose or have benefits interrupted. 

RegionMedicare Recipients at Risk of Benefit Disruption
Western NY380,000
Capital Region280,000
Finger Lakes275,000
Central New York237,000
North Country94,000
Hudson Valley450,000
Southern Tier173,000

Veterans left with no support

Lastly, the debt ceiling would effect Veterans who rely on the government for their disability, health care and pension benefits, leaving them with no support.

RegionEstimated Veteran Population at Risk of Benefit DisruptionTotal Expenditures for Direct Benefits To Veterans Including Medical Care, Pensions, etc. in FY21
Western NY79,000$882,150,000
Capital Region73,000$574,891,000
Finger Lakes63,000$619,474,000
Central New York65,000$640,290,000
North Country36,000$330,764,000
Hudson Valley79,000$759,431,000
Southern Tier46,000$429,985,000

“Look how clear it is: local economies, everyday wallets and Upstate NY families will take the hit should we default and stop paying our bills,” warned Schumer. “The larger Republican Party wants to work with Democrats to prevent this needless economic crisis, but it will take the public putting pressure to inoculate the fringe of the party and for bipartisanship to prevail in making sure America is able to pay its debts on time.”

Schumer is determined to ensure the United States continues to pay its bills on time and says he’s ready for Democrats and Republicans to come together and figure out what to do regarding the debt ceiling.