An Independent View of Social Security
121.1 When are your payment days if you filed for benefits before May 1, 1997?
Social Security payments are usually dated and delivered on the third day of the month following the month for which the payment is due. For example, payments for January are delivered on February 3. If the third of the month is a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday, payments are dated and delivered on the first day preceding the third of the month which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. For example, if the third is a Saturday or Sunday, payments are delivered on the preceding Friday.
121.2 When are your payment days if you filed for benefits on or after May 1, 1997?
If you file for Social Security benefits May 1, 1997, or later, you are assigned one of three new payment days based on the date of birth of the person on whose record your entitlement is established (the insured individual):
The payment day for insured individuals born on the 1st through the 10th of the month is the second Wednesday of each month;
The payment day for insured individuals born on the 11th through the 20th of the month is the third Wednesday of each month; and
The payment day for insured individuals born after the 20th of the month is the fourth Wednesday of each month.
If the scheduled Wednesday payment day is a Federal holiday, payment is made on the preceding day that is not a Federal holiday.
121.3 When are you paid on the 3rd of the month, even if you file for benefits on or after May 1, 1997?
You will receive your Social Security payment on the third of the month if you are any of the following:
A beneficiary who also receives SSI payment;
A beneficiary whose income is deemed to an SSI recipient;
A beneficiary whose Medicare premiums are paid for by the state in which you live;
A beneficiary living in a foreign country;
A beneficiary entitled to payments on the third of the month, who later became entitled on another record, as long as there is no break in your entitlement;
A recipient of garnished payments, tax levy case payments, or payments made via the critical payment system.
A beneficiary entitled on the same record as one of the above.
121.4 Can payment days be changed?
If you are paid on the third of the month, you can volunteer to change your payment day as long as all beneficiaries receiving benefits on your record agree. The date-of-birth formula determines the payment cycle for beneficiaries. The decision to change to a cycled payment day is permanent.
121.5 When are the payment days for SSI?
SSI payments are usually dated and delivered on the first day of the month that they are due. However, if the first falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, they are dated and delivered on the first day preceding the first of the month that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday.
Last Revised: Apr. 18, 2006