Millions of Social Security recipients play a common waiting game to see when their monthly benefits checks will hit their bank accounts or debit cards. Unlike most paychecks, Social Security benefit payments for many recipients are tied to a particular Wednesday of the month rather than a specific date. Consider working with a financial advisor as you create or update your retirement planning.
The Schedule for August
- Aug. 9: For people with a birth date falling between the first and 10th of the month, payments arrive on the second Wednesday of the month.
- Aug. 16: For people with a birth date falling between the 11th and 20th of the month, payments arrive on the third Wednesday of the month.
- Aug. 23: For people with a birth date falling between the 21st and 31st of the month, payments arrive on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
But, because it’s the federal government, it’s not quite that simple for everyone. Specifically:
- Supplemental Security Income schedule: People receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receive their benefit payments during the first days of the month, regardless of their date of birth.
- People who retired before 1997: These retirees receive their monthly check on the first Wednesday of the month regardless of their birth date, which is Aug. 9 this month.
The August payment will be the first benefit check recipients have seen since June. Because July 1 fell on a holiday, that month’s payment was made at the end of June. SmartAsset has a complete schedule of Social Security payments for 2023.
Staying Up to Date
Because all Social Security payments are made electronically, it’s important to keep your deposit information current. If you changed banks you can find information on how to update your information here. The page also includes information for updating over the phone or via TTY devices. Information on receiving payments with a Direct Express debit card can be found here. You also can request a free replacement card or report a stolen Social Security number at the SSA.gov website.
Social Security recipients received a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) of 8.7% for this year, bringing the average monthly payment for retirees to $1,801, according to the agency. The maximum benefit is $4,555 while the minimum ranges from $49.40 to $1,033.50 for people who were low-income workers, depending on their years of work.
SSI benefits are averaging $650 a month this year, with $914 as the maximum benefit for a single person, and $1,371 for couples.
In June, the Senior Citizens League projected an estimated COLA of 2.7% for 2024. The actual percentage increase won’t be finalized until September, and could be reduced if inflation continues to decline.
The Old-Age & Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (OASI), which supplies money for Social Security payments, is projected to start falling short beginning in 2033. One leading solution cited by experts and backed by the Biden administration is to apply the OASI payroll tax to incomes of more than $400,000. In 2023, only income of $160,200 or less is subject to the payroll tax. Another option being promoted by some lawmakers is to begin gradually reducing Social Security benefits for future beneficiaries, incrementally pushing back the program’s full retirement age (FRA) or capping what ultra-high-net-worth individuals receive.
Social Security payments are deposited on a schedule that varies by date each month.
Staying up-to-date on the deposit schedule can help you plan your monthly cash flow and budget for household expenses.
Social Security Planning Tips
- Consider talking to a financial advisor about how to make the most of Social Security in your retirement plan. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have free introductory calls with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- How much you can expect to receive in Social Security depends on a number of variables. SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator can help you estimate how much your benefits will be based on when you plan to claim them, your earnings and other factors.
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