A senior couple
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Are Social Security Payment Dates Changing?

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Dec. 27 2021, Published 11:44 a.m. ET

An average of 65 million Americans per month were expected to receive Social Security benefits in 2021, and those who are continuing or new beneficiaries in 2022 need to know when to expect their payments. Retired or disabled workers and their dependents as well as survivors often rely on Social Security income to pay their bills.

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For a large segment of Social Security beneficiaries, payments will be disbursed at different times each month, depending on their birthdate. There are some exceptions to this schedule, but many recipients will be paid on either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month in 2022, according to the Social Security Administration.

How most Social Security payment dates will be determined

In the new year, many Social Security recipients will receive their payments on a schedule determined by their date of birth. Since 1997, the Social Security Administration has used this staggered schedule because, as AARP notes, paying everyone on the third of the month became "unwieldy" as the number of beneficiaries grew.

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Rep. Richard Neal speaks about ways to strengthen Social Security at a news conference in October 2021.

The Social Security Administration has released a calendar showing the exact payment dates in 2022, since the Social Security payment dates are changing slightly. If your birthday is between the first and tenth of your birth month, Social Security payments will go out on the second Wednesday of each month.

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For those whose birthdays are between the 11th and 20th of the month, Social Security payments will be made on the third Wednesday of the month. And for those whose birthdays fall between the 21st and 31st of their birth month, Social Security payments will be given on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the new year.

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Social Security payments affected an average of 65 million Americans per month in 2021.

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Exceptions to new Social Security payment schedule

There are several exceptions to the new calendar of Social Security payments, similar to exceptions in previous years.

Some people will receive payments on the third of each month. They are:

  • Anyone who first filed for benefits prior to May 1997.

  • Anyone who receives both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security payments.

  • Those who have Medicare premiums paid by the state.

  • Residents of foreign countries.

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Another exception is that recipients who receive SSI benefits but not Social Security payments will receive their payment on the first of each month. Also, if a scheduled payment date is on a weekend or federal holiday, you should receive payment on the first preceding day that isn't a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.

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Examples of Social Security payment dates

As an example, here are the payment dates for Jan. 2022:

  • If you fit any of the exceptions above, your payments will begin on Jan. 3, 2022.
  • If you receive SSI benefits but not Social Security payments, that benefit will be paid on Jan. 1, 2022.

For all other recipients, Jan. 12 will be the payment date for anyone whose birthday is between the first and tenth of the month. For birthdays between the 11th and 20th, the first payment will be Jan. 19. For people with birthdays between the 21st and 31st of the month, the first payment will go out Jan. 26. The full payment calendar is available online through the Social Security Administration.

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