When Does Social Security Pay Monthly Benefits?

Image shows a calendar page with weeks highlighted by various colors. Text reads: What Day of the Month Will My Social Security Check Arrive? The first highlighted color is 2nd Wednesday, the second highlighted color is 3rd Wednesday, the third highlighted color is 4th Wednesday.

The Balance

Key Takeaways

  • If your birthday falls on days 1-10 of the month, you're paid Social Security on the second Wednesday. If your birthday is on days 11-20, you're paid on the third Wednesday. If your birthday is on days 21-30 or 31, you're paid on the fourth Wednesday.
  • Your Social Security payment is delayed one month, so you're paid for January in the month of February, for February in the month of March, and so on.
  • You'll receive your first Social Security benefits payment the month after you become eligible to receive benefits, and you can only receive electronic Social Security payments.
  • You'll be paid on the third day of the month if one of the following applies: you live in another country, the state is paying your Medicare premiums, you're receiving SSI benefits and Social Security benefits, or if you filed for benefits before May 1997.
  • Social Security retirement and disability benefits are paid out on the same schedule.

For most people that filed for Social Security on or after May 1, 1997, your benefit payments will be sent out on the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on your day of birth. If you filed for Social Security benefits before May 1, 1997, your payments will be sent out on the third of the next month. For example, you would receive your March benefit payment on April 3. That means Social Security technically pays a month behind—you receive money for March in April.

The same schedule typically applies if you're collecting Social Security retirement benefits or Social Security disability benefits. However, if you're receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you'll be paid on the first of the month.

Social Security Payment Schedule for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Benefits

If you receive retirement, survivors, and disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and filed for benefits on or after May 1, 1997, your payment schedule is most likely determined based on the date you were born.

You can expect your Social Security payment to be sent or deposited on the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of the month.

Social Security Payment Schedule
 Date of Birthday  Payment Date
1-10 Second Wednesday of the month
11-20 Third Wednesday of the month
21-30 or 31 Fourth Wednesday of the month

If your payment date falls on a federal holiday, your benefits will be paid out the first day before that is not a federal holiday.

Children or spouses who receive benefits based on someone else's work record should receive their payments on the same day as that individual.

Who Is Paid Social Security on the Third of the Month?

Your Social Security benefits will be paid out on the third of the month if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Your state is paying your Medicare premiums
  • You started receiving benefits prior to May 1, 1997
  • You reside in another country
  • You're receiving both Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments

SSI Payment Schedule

If you're receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to disability, blindness, or age, you'll be paid on the first of the month instead of the third.

SSI is needs-based. It's not something you paid into over the course of your working career, like Social Security retirement or disability benefits or Medicare, so it's possible to collect for these reasons without also receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits. SSI is intended to pay for basic food, shelter, and clothing needs.


Supplemental Security Income payments will come the Friday before the first if your payment date falls on a weekend.

You can find calendars on the Social Security Administration's website to pin down the exact dates in 2023, depending on your circumstances.

When Will You Receive Your First Social Security Payment?

Social Security retirement benefits, as well as disability and survivor benefits, are paid one month later, so for April you would receive your payment in May. The money would be directly deposited into your account on the date that is based on the day of your birth, as shown in the table above.

Direct Deposit or Direct Express for Social Security Payments

The Social Security Administration no longer mails paper checks, although the U.S. Department of the Treasury does occasionally make some isolated exceptions to this rule. Otherwise, there are two ways you can receive your benefits:

  • You can request direct deposit: Payments will be automatically posted into your bank account on your payment date.
  • Your benefits will be paid to a Direct Express debit card if you don't have a bank account or if you don't sign up for direct deposit: Payments are automatically posted to your card account on your payment day. The card works anywhere that takes debit Mastercard, and you can use it to get cash at ATMs, cash back at the grocery store, or can set up automatic payment of your monthly bills.

What If the Payment Doesn't Come?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) asks that you first contact your bank or financial institution if your direct deposit or debit card funds aren't received on time.

You should then call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office. The SSA asks that you wait three days before reaching out, however.


The risk of your Social Security benefits being stolen is greatly reduced if you use the direct deposit option because the money is transmitted electronically and directly to your bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I change Social Security to direct deposit?

If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can start or update your direct deposit by visiting your online my Social Security account. Simply log in, navigate to your profile page, and input your direct deposit information. You can set this change to take effect immediately or at a specified later date. If you receive SSI benefits, don't have a U.S. mailing address, or otherwise aren't able to make this change online, you can contact your bank or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

Why is my Social Security check late?

Social Security payments generally arrive on time. However, if your payment is delayed for some reason, contact your bank or financial institution. Once three days have passed without payment, you can reach out to the Social Security Administration to follow up.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Handbook. "121. Payment Dates."

  2. Social Security Administration. "Paying Monthly Benefits."

  3. Social Security Matters. "What Day of the Month Do I Get My Social Security Payment?"

  4. Social Security Administration. "Supplemental Security Income Home Page."

  5. Social Security Administration. "You Can Receive Benefits Before Your Full Retirement Age."

  6. Social Security Administration. "Get Your Payments Electronically."

  7. Social Security Administration. "Schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments 2023."

  8. Social Security Administration. "What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits," Page 2.

  9. Social Security Administration. "Direct Deposit."

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