When will I receive my first Social Security check?

This is a common question we get when we do a full Social Security Benefit session. “When will I receive my first check”. It’s important to understand that As of March 1, 2013, the Social Security Administration stopped mailing paper checks. There are 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.

Social Security checks are deposited on the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on your day of birth. The Social Security check schedule works as follows:

If you were born on the:

1st–10th of the month: Expect your Social Security check to be deposited on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

11th–20th of the month: Expect your Social Security check to be deposited on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

21st–31st 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

For every rule, there are always exceptions. If you fall into one of the categories below, your check may arrive on an alternate schedule.

You started receiving benefits before 1997: 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.

Holiday exceptions: If the day your Social Security check is supposed to be deposited is a holiday, your check will be deposited the previous day.

If you have questions on how to Maximize your Social Security Benefits, contact us today. This is what we do! Helping thousands of people that look for ways to maximize their retirement and live a better life.

80 comments on “When will I receive my first Social Security check?

    • fsykes on

      Rose Mary, it depends on when you apply and your birthday. If your birthday is the 1st-10th then it will be deposited on the 2nd wed of the month. 11th-20th 3rd wed and 21st-31st 4th wed of the month.

      Reply
      • Terry Long on

        My full retirement age is 66. i would like to continue working at least part time until age 67. can i work and receive Social Security benefits at 66 yrs ?

        Reply
        • fsykes on

          Terry, You you can continue to work past your Full retirement age, just keep in mind two things. Each month you delay benefits will increase your SS income payment and between 66 and age 70 you can get an 8% increase each year – which would be 32% increase! Secondly depending on your income Social Security can tax your social security if you make over certain thresholds that are pretty low.

          We would love to assist you with your retirement income planning, Faye

          Reply
        • Victoria GETER on

          My full retirement age is on 12/1/19.
          Will be 66. But i was told in PERSon that i wd get my 1st check on 1/2020. I went to SSA weeks later & I was told I cd start getting SS on Nov. 1 2019.
          I contacted SSA wks later cuz i hadnt recvd my SS award letter. Thats when they said i wd get my 1st chk on 11/11/19.

          I am so disgusted by all the inaccurate info, that i dont even know if i want the dam money anymore

          Reply
          • fsykes on

            Victoria, It can be hard to sometimes get the right information. In general you get your first payment the month after your birthday which would be in Jan, but if you requested early they can have it come early

            If the birthday is between the 1st and the 10th of the month, you will receive your payment on the second Wednesday of the month after that birthday. If the birthday is between the 11th and the 20th, you will receive your payment on the third Wednesday of the following month.

            Hopefully you get your check soon!

    • fsykes on

      Janis, it depends on when you apply and when your birthday falls. If your birthday is the 1st-10th then it will be deposited on the 2nd wed of the month. 11th-20th 3rd wed and 21st-31st 4th wed of the month.

      Reply
  1. Clarence Brunson on

    If I sign up for my so retirement benefits three mounts prier to my retirement date will I receive my deposit on the third Wednesday of Jan 2019 ?

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      It depends on what day your birthday falls on. If your birthday is the 1st-10th then it will be deposited on the 2nd wed of the month. 11th-20th 3rd wed and 21st-31st 4th wed of the month.

      Reply
  2. Frances Brady on

    I turn 66 on October 16, I applied for SS in September. I told the administration that I wanted to receive my first payment in November, so I can get the full benefits. I just saw a deposit for $267.90 from Federal Benefit Credit 10/09, I don’t understand why.

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Joe,

      You can request up to a six month look back. But you may not want to, each month you delay your Social Security benefit will go up slightly. Happy retirement!

      Reply
      • fsykes on

        Jerry, depending on your age and your income you may or may not get payments back. If you are under your full retirement age every $2 you make over $17,640 they take $1 of your benefit away. The income you earn does continue to vest you into Social Security.

        Reply
    • fsykes on

      Darlene,

      Your retirement date and Social Security date do not have to be the same. Depending on your health and other assets delaying your SS until age 70 can reap huge benefits.

      If you want to make an informed decision I would recommend that you have us put a plan together for you.

      Best,

      Faye

      Reply
    • fsykes on

      Darlene

      It would shift depending on your birthdate. 1st – 10th is the 2nd wed, 11th – 20th 3rd Wed and 21-31st is 4th Wed of the month. If you have not received yet I would recommend calling Social Security Directly 800-772-1213

      Thank you,

      Faye

      Reply
    • fsykes on

      William,

      Since your birthday is on the 9th it should deposit on the 2nd Wed of each month. It should arrive 11/14. If not call Social Security directly 800-772-1213

      Thanks, Faye

      Reply
  3. William R Bowlin on

    I have reached full retirement age….my two young children qualify for dependent benefits since I will begin to receive my social security retirement benefits. Question: ….Will their benefits come at the same as mine?

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      William,

      If you applied for both at the same time there is a good chance that they may come at the same time. But if you applied for yours first then theirs after there could be a delay. If there is a delay you can request up to six months back pay.

      Let us know if we can help further,

      Faye

      Reply
  4. Scott Farris on

    I am retiring on December 1st 2018, so my first check will come in January. I was born on the 21st of May so that will be January 23rd. Will my first check be for 1 months benefits or one month and 3 weeks benefits.

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Scott,

      Due to your birthday being on the 21st it should be deposited on the 4th Wed of each month. Unless you ask for up to a six month look back, typically it would be for 1 month of benefit.

      If we can help further please let us know. Faye

      Reply
  5. Kathy on

    My last date if employment is December 31. I told social security I will be retired beginning January 1st. I am 64 1/2 at that time. Will my 1st check be in January or will it be in February. My birthdate is April 29, so I know my check will come on the 4th Wednesday. Just wondering which month.

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Kathy, it will depend on the Social Security employee that processes it. If you gave them at least a month notice it most likely would come at the end of Jan. Congrats on Retirement! SSBP

      Reply
  6. David Tidmore on

    I turned 66 on 12/4/2018. I applied for SS retirement on Aug 30, 2018 to commence at the earliest date without penalty. My application was approved on Dec 5, 2018. Should I expect my first check on the 2nd Wed in Jan 2019 or the 2nd Wed in Feb 2019?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      David,

      It would depend on how backed up there are at Social Security. If you applied ahead i would most likely expect the check to start in Jan. Congrats on retirement. SSBP

      Reply
  7. mariruth kim on

    My birthday is Nov 25th and I will be 62 in 2019. I will not be working at all in 2019. I realize my first month of entitlement will be Dec 2019 and my first check will come in Jan for the month of Dec. Do I have this right?

    Reply
  8. Steven M on

    I am now retired from both the military and sheriff’s dept. I plan on collecting social security as soon as I turn 62. My birthday is on the 6th of April. Will I collect my first check on the second week of April or would it be paid the following month? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  9. Jamal l Jackson on

    Hello my name is Jamal Jackson and I was approved for disability 12/14/2018 and my birthday is April 16 1980. I am wondering when will I get my first check and what other paper work is coming with it

    Reply
  10. Connie Price on

    I want to retire at 65. If I leave my job several weeks before my 65th birthday, will my benefits be based on age 64? Or does it work like Medicare – becoming effective the month I turn 65?

    Reply
  11. Randy Wilson on

    I signed up for Medicare on-line at the SS website today. I chose not to apply for SS retirement at the same time/same application. Can I still decide later (in the next week or two) to also start my application for retirement? I will be 65 in April 2019 and understand it takes 3 months for the application to be processed.

    Reply
  12. Linda Latimer on

    I am 63 1/2 with an August 30th birthday. My last date of employment was 11/15/18. I applied online for early social security retirement benefits on 11/30/18. I requested benefits to start November 2018. Do you know if back pay benefits will be paid for November 2018 since I applied on the last day of November? Do you think I will receive my first check on the 4th Wednesday of January 2019? Will the government shut down delay my SS approval process? Prior to the shut down my SS online shows my application status of was “processing step 2 of 3”.

    Thank you

    Reply
  13. John Jancuska on

    I will turn 66 on September 13, 2019. I will still be working but want to start receiving my full SS benefits. When I apply June 13, 2019 (4 months prior to my 66th birthday) and want to start receiving the benefits when I turn 66( FTA),will the first check come the 3rd Wednesday of September.

    Reply
  14. Shirley on

    Hu! I signed my social security app today letting them know I’m retiring 3/1. Have any idea when my first payment will be received? Hopefully later March last week since birthday date is 28th of a month? Or will it be delayed indefinitely because of shut down?

    Reply
  15. WANGENSTEIN PAUL/VICKI on

    My wife wants to retire on her 62 birthday (march 30,3019) .She has only worked enough to collect a very small dollar amount. I understand she is eligible under my SS. How do we apply under my SS account ?

    Reply
  16. Betty Hernandez on

    I applied for SS benefits on Nov. 16, 2018. The agent told me I would receive my direct deposit by Jan. 9, 2019. I have not heard anything from Social Security. When should I expect a response, or a deposit.

    Reply
  17. Greg on

    I am 64 years of age and applying for social security. If I ask for my benefits to begin in March, what month will I receive my first check? March or April?

    Reply
  18. Grace Hayes on

    Grace, January 25, 2019 10:45
    I turned 62 on 1/14/2019. I applied and was approved in November 2018. Should I expect my
    first check the third Wed. in February?

    Reply
  19. Bob Bassett on

    My social security says I will be paid on the 3rd of the month. I have a child support garnishment. I am suppose to be paid on the 2nd wed of each month. when will I get paid?

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Your deposit will depend on your birthday. With the Government shut down they have been backlogged. You will need to call them directly at 800-772-1213 to find out exactly. Good luck!

      Benefits paid on Birth date on
      Second Wednesday 1st – 10th
      Third Wednesday 11th – 20th
      Fourth Wednesday 21st – 31st

      Reply
  20. Cynthia on

    I turn 66 on August 22, 2019. That is my FRA. I want to receive benefits at my FRA. How do I specify when I want benefits to start? Aug or Sept?

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Congrats on your almost retirement! Did you know delaying past your FRA until age 70 you would get an 8% increase annually to the maximum amount. Most likely they would start in Sept but it would depend on when you applied. You can apply online ssa.gov or call social security directly at 800-772-1213, If you would like us to assist you with retirement income planning we would be happy to help, Faye

      Reply
  21. kennethia carter on

    first disabled may 17,2017. approved on march 29,2019… onset date was for august 1, 2017…. when can i receive my first payments and backpay.. or am i eligible for payments until then due to hardship

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Kennethia, glad to hear your SSDI benefits were approved. Typically your benefits would go from your first appeal not the actual start date of the disability. Faye

      Reply
    • fsykes on

      Natalie

      As you continue to work and pay into Social Security this can potentially increase your future Social Security benefits! Depending on if your single or married and how much you make can have some taxes. Certain states also have taxes as well.

      Best, Faye

      Reply
  22. Rita J Trumbly on

    I am 66 and have not worked since 2017. My husband is 67 and still working fulltime. We have not applied for Social Security. Should we make an appt or can we do it online or over the phone? We should have probably already applied.

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Rita,

      You can go to http://www.ssa.gov or call 800-772-1213 to apply for your benefits. If he is still working full time you may want to delay until his age 70. There can be taxes on his benefits depending on how much he is making.

      Thanks, Faye

      Reply
  23. David George on

    I turn 66 on December 23rd of this year and plan to file for my Social Security then. What month is the earliest I can file my application based on my December birthday and what would be the latest so that I do not miss a payment?

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Cindy, Once your application is approved based on your birthday it will be paid on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Wed of typically the following month. It would the date approved and noted by Social Security- Thanks, Faye

      Reply
  24. William Harolds on

    My benefits are scheduled to begin next Feb (2020). I am currently paying for 2018 taxes under the installment arrangement, and which won’t be fully paid until after Feb 2020. Will my SS benefit be reduced?

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      William, Your tax agreement is separate from your social security benefits so you should not be reduced. If you go out of terms of your installment agreement that may change. Congrats on retiring soon! Faye

      Reply
  25. Audie Hunsbusher on

    I am 64 and planning on retiring on January 1st….when would be the best time to apply to receive a check in January? Plus just wondering is Social Security’s fiscal year January 1st to December 31st just like it is when a person is working?

    Reply
  26. Mr. Gilly on

    I’ve been waiting on social security disability to respond to when they will start issuing out my payments. I’m currently 27 years old, have been waiting since 2017 after my brain injury incident, I just recently went to another hearing after I got denied the first time, I’m not sure what they are doing now, it’s clear that I cant go to work, hold a job or even a memory after a few minutes, I’m just wondering, when should I be receiving at least an answer for me getting the check??? Because I’m struggling, homeless NOW, and I really really need this to kick in, if anybody could answer this accurately, would be appreciated, thank you.

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Mr Gilly, we are sorry to hear that you were in a terrible accident we hope you get the help that you need physically and financially.

      Unfortunately as you can tell the SSDI process can be long process.

      Your best bet is working with a SSDI attorney that can help you navigate through this process.

      https://nosscr.org/ may be a place to find help.

      Good luck!

      Faye Sykes

      Reply
  27. JUDY HANKINS on

    I HAVE TWO QUESTIONS. I AM STILL WORKING AT AGE 70…WILL BE 71 IN OCTOBER. IS THERE A CUTOFF POINT WHERE MY EARNINGS ARE NOT TAXABLE BY SOCIAL SECURITY? I STARTED DRAWING AT THE AGE OF 62. I WAS NOT AWARE OR INFORMED THAT IF I WAITED UNTIL I WAS 70 TO START DRAWING MY SS I WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR A 8% INCREASE.

    ALSO, COULD YOU TELL ME WHY MY SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ARE CUT IN HALF BECAUSE I AM A RETIRED TEACHER. I HAVE WORKED 20 PLUS YEARS OUTSIDE OF TEACHING YET THOSE NON-TEACHING EARNINGS ARE CUT 50%. WHY IS THIS?
    .

    Reply
    • fsykes on

      Judy, at age 70 your benefits max out so it is not worth delaying a minute longer! For the best tax information we would recommend speaking with a professional CPA or enrolled agent but in general if you make over a certain amount of earned income up to 85% of your Social Security income can be included to factor your taxes. At any age your Social Security can be taxable. Apx 40% of americans have their Social Security taxed.

      We are trying to help as many people, CPA’s and Financial advisors get educated on the 8% and the almost 2,800 other regulations that oversee this. Social Security as a government entity legally can only answer questions they cannot give advice and that is what we do.

      Most likely if you were a teacher and receive a pension while not paying in they have a WEP offset. Without understanding your full picture we cannot give you specific advice but here is a link to review. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep.html

      Thanks, Faye Sykes CEO

      Reply
  28. Cody Johnson on

    Hi. I applied to be my nephews represenative payee, and was approved on august 6th. His birthday is sept 14th. He will be recieving ss from my mother who passed away in May. Her birthday was june 22. I have called and asked when he would recieve his lump sum, because he hasn’t recieved benefits since july. They do not have a clear answer about when someone on survivors benefits would recieve their first check. Is their any information I can look into about this? Or perhaps you have any information concerning survivors benefits?
    Thanks

    Reply

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