When You Will Receive Your Benefit

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Social Security Administration

When You'll Get Your Benefit

SSA Publication No. 05-10031
May 1997

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When Will I Receive My Benefit Payment?

From now on, most people applying for Social Security will receive their benefits on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of each month.

When you apply for benefits, the Social Security representative will tell you when to expect your benefit payment. Your Social Security benefit award notice will also have this information. Generally, the day in the month you receive your benefit depends on the birth date of the person on whose record you receive benefits. For example, if you receive benefits as a retired or disabled worker, your benefit will be determined by your birth date. If you receive benefits as a spouse, your benefit payment day will be determined by your spouse's birth date.

Here's how it works:

Birth date between the: Benefit paid on the:
1st - 10th Second Wednesday
11th -20th Third Wednesday
21st - 31st Fourth Wednesday


People who currently get Social Security will continue to receive their benefits on the third of the month. The same is true for people who begin receiving both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. For them, Social Security benefits will be paid on the third of the month and SSI on the first of the month.

May I Change My Benefit Payment Day?

No. Social Security requires new beneficiaries to receive benefits on the Wednesday indicated by the birth date. The reason is to help balance the number of beneficiaries who receive benefits on the second, third or fourth Wednesday.

Will This Affect The Amount
Of My Social Security Benefit?

No. It doesn't change the way benefits are figured. Social Security continues to follow the same rules in determining benefit amounts.

My Wife And I Are Retiring.
When Will We Get Our Benefits?

Let's assume your birthday is on the 15th of the month and your wife's is on the fourth of the month. Your benefit payment day will be the third Wednesday. If your wife receives a spouse's benefit, her payment will also be the third Wednesday. But if she gets benefits on her own work record, she'll receive her benefit on the second Wednesday. This will be true even if she receives partial benefits on your earnings record.

Why Add New Benefit Payment Days?

The current Social Security and SSI beneficiary population is nearly 50 million. By the year 2020, an estimated 76 million people will be receiving monthly benefits. The added payment days allow Social Security to continue providing high quality service to this increasing customer population by spreading the workload throughout the month.

How Does Adding New
Payment Days Help Me?

Adding new benefit payment days lets Social Security give better service to you and other beneficiaries, workers and other members of the public.

This means your calls to our toll--free number, 1--800--772--1213, will be answered faster and your visits to our field offices will take less time. Calls and visits to report non-receipt of a benefit payment, to question the amount of a benefit payment or to ask about other payment--related matters will be spread throughout the month, rather than concentrated in a few days at the beginning of the month.

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