Update: by 3/1/2013 Social Security will stop mailing checks. See Changes to Social Security Checks section below for details.
What date will my Social Security arrive?
Social security checks are mailed or deposited on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on your day of birth, according to the schedule below.
If you were born on the:
- 1 – 10th of the month, expect your Social Security check to be deposited on the 2nd Wednesday of each month
- 11 – 20th of the month, expect your Social Security check to be deposited on the 3rd Wednesday of each month
- 21 – 31th of the month, expect your Social Security check to be deposited on the 4th Wednesday of each month
Exceptions to when Social Security checks arrive:
- You started receiving benefits before 1997 - then your Social Security check is paid on the third day of the month. You can request to change this according to the day of birth schedule above.
- You are receiving both Social Security benefits and SSI payments – expect your Social Security check to be deposited on the third day of the month
- Holidays - if the day your Social Security check is supposed to be deposited is a holiday, your check will be deposited the previous day.
Need more details? See the 2012 Social Security Check Schedule.
Changes to Social Security Checks
By March 1, 2013 Social Security will no longer mail paper checks. There will be two ways you can receive your benefits:
1. Direct deposit of your Social Security checks. This option puts them right into your bank account on the day they are paid. You don’t have to worry about your check being lost or worry that funds will not get to the bank in time if you are out of town. Sign up or learn more at Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Direct Deposit.
2. Direct Express® Debit Card - If you do not sign up for direct deposit, your benefits will be paid to you via Direct Express® debit card option. This card will work anywhere that takes Debit Mastercard®. You can also use your Direct Express® debit card to get cash back at the grocery store or to purchase money orders at the post office. Learn more at Direct Express® Debit Card.
Not sure what to do? To help you with this transition a website called GoDirect has been created. It will walk you through your Social Security check choices.
My Social Security check is late. What do I do?
If you receive your Social Security check by mail, wait a few days after you would normally receive to see if it is late due to a delay in mail service. If it does not arrive after a few days, to report a lost, missing or stolen check call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213l, or find a Social Security office location near you.
If you receive your Social Security check by direct deposit it should arrive on its due date, or the day before if the due date is a holiday. If you discover a direct deposit did not occur on time contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
For more info on lost Social Security checks see: Report a Missing Social Security Check.
When will I receive my first Social Security payment?
Social Security retirement benefits (as well as disability and survivor benefits) are paid the month after you are eligible for them. If you filed for your benefits and determined your first month of Social Security benefits is May, you would expect your first direct deposit to occur in June, on the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of the month according to the day of birth schedule at the top of this article.
Avoid Social Security Check Delays
The best way to avoid problems with receiving your Social Security check on time is to have your check deposited directly into a bank account each month. See Start, Change or Cancel Social Security Direct Deposit to get this set up.