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2021 Social Security Payment Schedule

For most people collecting Social Security benefits—whether retirement, disability, and/or survivors’ benefits—the date on which they receive those benefits depends on their birthday. With a staggered payment schedule, the government can spread payments out during the course of an entire month, rather than paying them out to every recipient at the same time each month.

63 million Americans receive some kind of Social Security benefits, and for many seniors especially, these benefits comprise their primary source of income; therefore, knowing exactly when you will receive your payments can help you plan your expenses for the month.

If you started collecting benefits prior to May 1997 or if you are receiving both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits concurrently, your benefits are paid on the third day of every month, unless the third falls on a holiday or weekend, in which case it will be received the business day before. In 2021, you will receive benefits on the following days (please note that the January payment will be received on December 31, 2020): February 3; March 3; April 2; May 3; June 3; July 2; August 3; September 3; October 1; November 3; and December 3.

If you do not fall into one of the exception categories mentioned above, you will receive your benefits on the second Wednesday of every month if your birthday falls between the 1st and 10th. In 2021, you will receive benefits on the following days: January 13; February 10; March 10; April 14; May 12; June 9; July 14; August 11; September 8; October 13; November 10; and December 8.

If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th, you will receive your benefits on the third Wednesday of every month. For 2021, you will receive payments on the following days: January 20; February 17; March 17; April 21; May 19; June 16; July 21; August 18; September 15; October 20; November 17; and December 15.

If your birthday falls between the 21st and 31st of each month, your payments will arrive on the fourth Wednesday of every month. In 2021, you will receive benefits on the following days: January 27; February 24; March 24; April 28; May 26; June 23; July 28; August 25; September 22; October 27; November 24; and December 22.

If you only receive SSI benefits, you will be paid on the first day of each month, unless the first falls on a holiday or weekend, in which case it will be received on the business day before. In 2021, you will receive payments on the following days (please note that the January payment will be received on December 31, 2021): February 1; March 1; April 1; April 30; June 1; July 1; July 30; September 1; October 1; November 1; and December 1.

There are a few other items you should remember. First, your payments are always made one month behind; therefore, if you became entitled to benefits in March, you will not receive payment until April. Second, if you are receiving benefits on the record of a retired, disabled, or deceased worker (rather than on your own work record), the date on which you receive benefits depends on that other worker’s birthday, not your own. Lastly, Social Security Administration (SSA) no longer sends benefits via paper checks as of March 2013. As a result, you must have the funds sent direct deposit to your bank account on record with SSA or have them loaded onto a Direct Express debit card.