A federal government shutdown probably will not interrupt Social Security checks or Medicare benefits, observers say.

Based on prior shutdowns, Social Security recipients should get their checks as usual and health-care payment processing should continue to allow beneficiaries to continue to see their doctors, says Cristina Martin, the AARP’s director of financial security and consumer affairs.

However, she said people applying for Social Security and Medicare for the first time are likely to see delays.

As the federal government lurches toward a possible shutdown on October 1, one answered question is whether problems such as payment glitches and computer errors could lead to payment delays due to reduced staffing on help desks.

There was no response on the issue from White House Office of Management and Budget after many requests.

The help desks should be available to beneficiaries receiving checks through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation because the payment system is run through banks, not the federal government, says PBGC spokesperson Marc Hopkins.

Delays are possible for survivors of veterans applying for a federal $12,000 “death gratuity,” cautioned John Fitch, senior director for advocacy for the National Funeral Directors Association.

Many funeral directors, however, have personal relationships with their local Department of Veterans Affairs offices and often help family members apply for the benefits, he said.