Social Security Payment Schedule

Your Social Security payment date generally falls on one of three Wednesdays, depending on your date of birth. If your date of birth falls on an earlier date in the month, like the 1st, you’ll receive your Social Security benefit on an earlier Wednesday than those with a later birthdate. Keep in mind that there are some exceptions that can give you a different payment date. In addition, the Social Security Administration made some important changes to 2023 Social Security benefits that may impact you — including cost-of-living adjustments, your retirement age and your taxable earnings.

  • Written by
    Lindsey Crossmier

    Lindsey Crossmier

    Financial Writer

    Lindsey Crossmier is an accomplished writer with experience working for The Florida Review and Bookstar PR. As a financial writer, she covers Medicare, life insurance and dental insurance topics for RetireGuide. Research-based data drives her work.

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    Lamia Chowdhury
    Lamia Chowdhury, editor for RetireGuide.com

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.

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  • Reviewed By
    Brandon Renfro, Ph.D., CFP®, RICP®, EA
    Brandon Renfro, RetireGuide Reviewer

    Brandon Renfro, Ph.D., CFP®, RICP®, EA

    Retirement and Social Security Expert

    Brandon Renfro is a Retirement and Social Security Expert and financial planner. He focuses on helping clients create a secure financial future in retirement and co-owns Belonging Wealth Management. He is also a former finance professor and writes for several publications.

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  • Published: May 12, 2022
  • Updated: October 20, 2023
  • 6 min read time
  • This page features 8 Cited Research Articles
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APA Crossmier, L. (2023, October 20). Social Security Payment Schedule. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from https://www.retireguide.com/social-security/benefits/payment-schedule/

MLA Crossmier, Lindsey. "Social Security Payment Schedule." RetireGuide.com, 20 Oct 2023, https://www.retireguide.com/social-security/benefits/payment-schedule/.

Chicago Crossmier, Lindsey. "Social Security Payment Schedule." RetireGuide.com. Last modified October 20, 2023. https://www.retireguide.com/social-security/benefits/payment-schedule/.

When Should I Expect My First Social Security Payment?

You should expect your first Social Security payment a month after its due. It’s your job to notify the Social Security Administration when you want to start receiving payments. For example, if you request for your Social Security benefits to start in February, you will receive your first payment in March.

Did You Know?
Your Social Security application can take up to three months to process. To start receiving benefits when you need them — apply four months in advance. That way, you have three months for processing and you receive your first payment the month after it’s due. The exact day you will receive your Social Security payment varies, depending on your date of birth and what type of benefit you’re receiving.

When Will I Receive My Social Security Payment This Month?

You will receive your Social Security payment on one of three Wednesdays. Your date of birth determines which Wednesday you’ll receive your payment.

When You Can Expect Your Payment
If you were born on: You will receive your Social Security payment on:
The 1st through the 10th The second Wednesday of each month
The 11th through the 20th The third Wednesday of each month
The 21st through the 31st The fourth Wednesday of each month
Social security payment schedule
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For example, if you were born on July 1, you will receive your Social Security payment on the second Wednesday of each month.

The payment schedule is the same for retirement, survivors and disability benefits. However, it’s important to note that if you’re receiving benefits on behalf of another individual, the payment schedule is based on their date of birth — not yours. For example, if you are collecting survivor’s benefits due to your spouse recently passing away, your date of birth would not determine when you get benefits.

Below is a table breaking down the entire payment schedule for 2023. Be aware of some exceptions for different payment dates, like with Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With SSI, the Wednesday rule doesn’t apply. Instead, you’ll receive your SSI payments on the 1st of each month.

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Exceptions to the Social Security Payment Schedule

While most receive payments based on the schedule above, there are a few exceptions. If you collect SSI, how your Medicaid premiums are paid and when you started receiving benefits could shift your payment date.

Social Security Payment Schedule Exceptions
  • If you collect both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, then you will receive SSI on the 1st of the month and Social Security by the 3rd.
  • If your Medicare premiums are paid for by the state, you will receive payment by the 3rd of every month.
  • If you started receiving benefits prior to May 1, 1997, you will receive payment by the 3rd of every month.
  • If your payment date falls on a weekend or federal holiday, then you will receive payment the Friday before.
  • For SSI benefits, you won’t receive a payment in January, April, July or October. Instead, you will receive double payments in March, June, September and December.

There are also different exceptions if you’re a U.S. citizen living abroad. The Social Security Administration has a list of countries that you can and cannot receive Social Security payments in.

How Will I Receive My Social Security Payment?

The Federal law mandates that your Social Security payment must be received electronically. There are two ways you can receive your Social Security payment electronically — to your bank account through direct deposit or onto a Direct Express Debit Mastercard.

With direct deposit and the Direct Express Debit Mastercard, your benefit will go directly in your bank account automatically each month.

Over 4.5 million individuals use the Direct Express Debit Mastercard. Since its launch in 2008, the Direct Express card has become one of the largest government prepaid card programs for federal benefit beneficiaries. The debit card works anywhere that accepts Debit Mastercard and can be used to get cash at ATMs and grocery stores.

Did You Know?
In rare cases, there can be exceptions to the federal law that requires your Social Security payment to be electronic. There is a waiver you can fill out and mail to request your Social Security benefits to be sent out as a check instead. You can dial 855-290-1545 if you have questions.

Late Payments

While late payments aren’t as common since Social Security switched to electronic transfers, delays can still happen. There are three common scenarios that can cause a late payment.

Reasons Your Social Security Payment Could Be Delayed
Your banking information changed
If you changed banks or updated your account information, there could be a delay in your Social Security payment.
You moved recently
Even with direct deposit, if your address on file doesn’t match, your Social Security payment can be delayed.
Office delays
The Social Security office handling payments does have occasional delays in payment processing due to staff shortages and other internal issues.

If your Social Security payment is late, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, call the Social Security Administration’s TTY line at 1-800-325-0778.

The Social Security Administration recommends waiting at least three days before contacting them. If you still haven’t received your delayed payment after the three days have passed — contact them immediately. They will be able to update any information and confirm if your Social Security office is experiencing a delay.

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Updates Made to Social Security in 2023

Several key changes were made to Social Security this year, which may impact your benefits. The biggest change by far was the 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to your benefit. Your benefit should increase by $140 at minimum in 2023, according to the Social Security Administration.

Important updates to Social Security in 2023 include:
Full Retirement AgeThe age at which you become eligible for full retirement, and thus Social Security benefits, has increased. So, if you turn 62 in 2023, then your full retirement age has changed to 67. If you are 62 and started claiming benefits this year, then your monthly benefit is reduced by 30% of your full retirement age benefit.
Cost-of-Living AdjustmentsSocial Security is now paying an 8.7% increase to retirement, disability and/or survivor benefits to account for cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), which marks the largest adjustment since 1980.
Taxable EarningsThe maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax increased to $160,200. The earnings limit was increased to $56,520 for workers who will reach their full retirement age in 2023. The earnings limit for workers who will not reach their retirement age in 2023 increased to $21,240.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)In 2023, SSI recipients will not receive payments in January, April, July or October and will instead receive double payments in March, June, September and December. This is due to the 1st of the month falling on a weekend; therefore, payments will be made during the preceding month.
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Last Modified: October 20, 2023

8 Cited Research Articles

  1. Social Security Administration. (2023, January 3). What Is Full Retirement Age? Retrieved from https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01885
  2. Social Security Administration. (2023, January). How Work Affects Your Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10069.pdf
  3. Social Security Administration. (2023). Contribution And Benefit Base. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/cbb.html
  4. Nesbit, J. (2022, October 13). Social Security Benefits Increase in 2023. Retrieved from https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-benefits-increase-in-2023/
  5. Social Security Administration. (2022, January). Schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments 2023. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031-2023.pdf
  6. Tzanetos, G. (2021, December 18). Is Your Social Security Payment Late? Here’s What To Do. Retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/social-security-payment-200025478.html
  7. Comerica Bank. (n.d.). Direct Express Program. Retrieved from https://directexpress.info/direct-express-program/
  8. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Social Security Direct Deposit. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/deposit/