Social Security Benefits Payments Cycling – The Date You Should Receive Each Month Guest Columnist Oscar Garcia  is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can also email him at


I have been receiving Social Security for two years. My wife just started her own benefits last month. Why do we receive our benefits on different days of the month?


This is called payment cycling. Benefit payments used to be issued on the third of the month for all Social Security beneficiaries. As of May 1, 1997, payment dates are determined by your date of birth. Generally, the day of the month you receive your benefit payment depends on the birth date of the person on whose earnings record you receive benefits. For example, if you get benefits as a retired worker, your benefit will be determined by your birth date. If you receive benefits based on your spouse’s work, your benefit payment date will be determined by your spouse’s birth date. Since you and your wife are receiving your respective retirement benefits, your birth dates determine when you receive the payment. Here is how it works. If you were born between the 1st and 10th of the month , then you are paid on the second Wednesday of the month. If you were born between the 11th and the 20th, then you are paid on the third Wednesday. Your payment is the fourth Wednesday if you were born between the 21st and the 31st. If the scheduled Wednesday payment day is a Federal holiday, payment is made on the preceding day that is not a Federal holiday. If you receive both Social Security and SSI benefits, your Social Security payment will arrive on the third of the month and your SSI payment will arrive on the first of the month. You can get a calendar showing the Social Security payment dates for 2013 on our website at

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