Millions of Americans receive Social Security checks each month, and most of them rely on those payments to meet their monthly financial obligations. These benefit recipients might receive Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). So, how do these people know when their Social Security payments will arrive? Thankfully, there is a schedule that the Social Security Administration (SSA) follows when making payments to benefit recipients. The exact schedule depends on a few things, such as the type of benefit, when your benefits started, how you received your benefits and your birth date. Keep reading as we tell you exactly how to determine when your Social Security check will arrive.
When Social Security Payments Are Made
Around 25% of older Americans rely on Social Security benefits as their sole source of income. More than half of people in this age group rely on these benefits to cover at least part of their monthly expenses. So, you can quickly see why it is vitally important that these people know when they will receive their Social Security payments. They have to ensure that they have enough money left in their budget to make it to their next payment. Without knowing when their payments will arrive, they might find themselves in a financial shortage waiting on their next benefit payment.
When it comes to payment dates, Social Security retirement, disability, and survivor benefits are all paid on the same schedule for beneficiaries who started their benefits after May 1997. We will discuss the schedule for benefits started prior to this date later in this section. For benefits started after 1997, the payments are always made on a Wednesday. This will be either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of the month, depending on your birth date.
If your birth date falls on the first through the tenth of the month, then your benefit payment will be made on the second Wednesday of the month. For example, if your birthday is March 8, then you will receive your benefit payment on the second Wednesday of each month. Similarly, those with birth dates from the 11th to the 20th of the month will receive their Social Security payment on the third Wednesday of each month. Finally, individuals with a birth date on the 21st through 31st of the month will receive their payments on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
For those who started their benefits before May 1997, the payment schedule will look different. These beneficiaries will receive their payment on the 3rd of each month regardless of their birthday. The Social Security Administration saw the need to change this because it became too difficult to make all the payments on the same date. As the number of beneficiaries grew, it was nearly impossible to make all the payments at once. Thus, they adopted the staggered schedule mentioned above.
Individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits, do not follow the same staggered schedule followed for retirement benefit recipients. SSI payments to all recipients are made on the first of each month. If the first day of the month falls on a holiday or weekend, then the payment will be made on the last Friday of the previous month. For example, if May 1 falls on a Saturday, then SSI recipients would receive their SSI payment for the month on Friday, April 30. In those situations, there will be some months in which recipients receive two payments and other months in which they do not receive a payment at all.
For Social Security benefit recipients who live abroad, even if they are retirees receiving regular retirement benefits, then their payment will be made on the third of the month. Similarly, if the third falls on a holiday, then the payment will be made on the last business day before the holiday. The staggered Wednesday schedule applies to recipients of retirement, disability, or survivor benefits residing in the United States only.
The other thing to know about Social Security payments is that they are made in arrears. This means that they are paid the month after the month in which they are accrued. For instance, your payment for June benefits would be made in July and so forth. While this does not necessarily affect the Social Security payment schedule, it is interesting to note the manner in which these payments are made.
How Social Security Checks Are Paid
Years ago, Social Security mailed physical checks to benefit recipients. Each month, millions of Social Security benefit payments would be delivered to the mailboxes of recipients across the country. Since so many individuals and families rely on these monthly payments, they would often be waiting on the mail to be delivered at the first of the month so that they could deposit the check into their bank account. Checks were sometimes lost in the mail, and it was also expensive for the Social Security Administration to send that many checks through the postal service. Thankfully, there is a better way of delivering payments today.
Physical checks are no longer an option for retirement or disability benefits. Today, the most popular method for delivery of Social Security checks is direct deposit. This makes the process quicker, easier, and more efficient. Now, benefit recipients do not have to wait at their mailbox and guess when their check will arrive. Their benefit amount is deposited directly into their bank account on the day that their benefits should be paid. For instance, if you receive your benefits on the third Wednesday of the month, you can rest assured that your benefit amount will be in your account on the morning of that Wednesday.
Another option for benefit recipients is to have the funds loaded onto a Direct Express debit card. This is similar to direct deposit, but the funds are loaded onto a debit card that can be used to pay for goods and services. You can also use the card to withdraw cash at an ATM or get cashback on some purchases. It is worth noting, however, that there might be fees associated with some transactions on the card. This option is generally selected by people who do not have a bank account to make a direct deposit.
2022 Social Security Payment Schedule
At the beginning of each new year, the Social Security Administration publishes a full payment schedule for Social Security benefits for the year. This schedule shows the dates on which benefit recipients of all types will receive their payments for the year. Remember that some dates may be slightly different from the regular benefit payment date if that date falls on the weekend or a holiday.
In recent years, government shutdowns have been a hot topic in the media. So, is Social Security affected by a government shutdown? In most cases, the answer is no. Social Security is considered an essential service, and benefit payments always continue to go out on time. While some non-essential Social Security services or workers might be affected by a shutdown, you can rest easy knowing that you will still receive your benefit payments on time.
If you receive Social Security retirement benefits or disability benefits, here are the payment dates that you should know for 2022.
Social Security 2022 Payment Schedule
|2nd Wednesday||3rd Wednesday||4th Wednesday|
|January||January 12, 2022||January 19, 2022||January 26, 2022|
|February||February 9, 2022||February 16, 2022||February 23, 2022|
|March||March 9, 2022||March 16, 2022||March 23, 2022|
|April||April 13, 2022||April 20, 2022||April 27, 2022|
|May||May 11, 2022||May 18, 2022||May 25, 2022|
|June||June 8, 2022||June 15, 2022||June 22, 2022|
|July||July 13, 2022||July 20, 2022||July 27, 2022|
|August||August 10, 2022||August 17, 2022||August 24, 2022|
|September||September 14, 2022||September 21, 2022||September 28, 2022|
|October||October 12, 2022||October 19, 2022||October 26, 2022|
|November||November 9, 2022||November 16, 2022||November 23, 2022|
|December||December 14, 2022||December 21, 2022||December 28, 2022|
Social Security Payment Amounts & Eligibility
Now that you know when your payment will be made, you are probably wondering how much does Social Security pay? Perhaps you are just about to start Social Security, and you are wondering how much your payments will be. Here is what to expect.
If you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits, the amount that you receive will be based on your work record and earnings history. You must have paid enough Social Security taxes during your working years to qualify for retirement benefits. You can start these benefits as early as age 62, although your benefit amount will be reduced if you start this early. To receive your full benefit amount, you must wait until your full retirement age to begin your benefits. This is age 66 or 67 in most cases.
The average retirement benefit in January 2022 is $1,657. The maximum benefit that a retiree can receive is $3,345. As you can see, these payments are not extremely high. This is why it is important to consider retirement planning methods other than relying on Social Security. A personal finance expert can assist you in making sure that you are financially prepared to retire.
Spouses can also receive benefits based on the work record of their spouse. Eligible spouses can receive up to 50% of their spouse’s benefit amount. Upon the death of the primary benefit recipient, the surviving spouse may receive 100% of the deceased spouse’s benefit amount. Survivor benefits are also available to children, parents, and ex-spouses as well.
When it comes to Social Security Disability benefits, the payments that you receive are based on your work history and earnings record. These payments are typically lower than retirement benefits because you have not paid as many Social Security taxes. The average SSDI payment is around $1,300 per month. The maximum that you can receive is approximately $3,000. As you can see, it would be extremely difficult to support a family on these payments alone.
Finally, SSI benefit recipients typically have the lowest benefit amounts. Since these payments are not based on work history, there is not much difference in the amount received from one person to the next. These payments average about $600 per month for an individual adult.
In addition to the benefit payments listed above, you should also know that most Social Security recipients are eligible for Medicare. Many retirees receive Medicare Part A coverage at no cost, but they are responsible for paying Medicare premiums for Part B coverage. You should make sure that you account for these payments in your monthly budget if you elect to maintain this coverage.
The Bottom Line
Social Security recipients all receive their payments according to the schedule set forth by the Social Security Administration. SSI recipients all receive their payments on the first of the month, but retirement and disability benefit recipients receive their payment based on their birthdate. This will be either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of the month. Direct deposit is the most popular method for distribution of the funds, although some people elect to have their funds loaded onto a Direct Express debit card instead. If you are wondering when you will get your Social Security payment for the month, you can rest assured that your funds will be available on the date shown in the 2022 payment schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the earliest and latest dates that I can receive my Social Security payment this month?
It depends on the type of benefit that you receive. If you receive Supplemental Security Income benefits, then you will receive your payment on the first day of the month. In fact, if the first of the month falls on a holiday, then you will receive your payment on the last Friday of the previous month. For retirement and disability benefit recipients, your payment will be made on a schedule according to when your birthday falls. The earliest that you will receive your payment is the second Wednesday of the month, while the latest that your payment will arrive is the fourth Wednesday of the month.
How many days will it take for my Social Security check to arrive?
Your Social Security check will arrive in your bank account on the day that the payment is scheduled. This could change one day, but not in the foreseeable future. Since physical checks are no longer sent through the mail, you do not have to worry about transit time. In the past, you may have waited a few days for your check to arrive in the mail. However, now your funds should be directly deposited into your bank account on the day that the benefits payment is made. So, your funds will be available on the date that the schedule shows the payment will be made. There is no more waiting for the check to arrive in the mail.
What is the 2022 Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)?
The COLA for 2022 is 5.9%. This means that Social Security recipients will get an increase of 5.9% in their benefit payments starting in January 2022. This increase in benefits is based on inflation, and it is directly tied to the consumer price index. Since many people rely on their Social Security income, the Federal government saw the need to make annual adjustments to Social Security payments to account for inflation. As the cost of goods and services increases, benefit recipients also need an increase in the amount of money they receive each month to maintain the same standard of living. The 2022 increase is the largest increase in several decades.
What are the three ways to receive your Social Security check?
Today, there are only two ways to receive your Social Security check. The option of having a physical check mailed to your address is no longer available. The most common way to receive your check is via direct deposit. This means that your funds are deposited directly into your checking account on the payment date. The other option is to have the funds loaded onto a Direct Express debit card. You can use this card to pay for items or withdraw cash, although some transactions might incur a usage fee. Most people choose the debit card option when they do not have a bank account that will support direct deposit or do not have a bank account at all.