By Deborah Banikowski
Timing is everything, and the arrival time of your monthly payment from Social Security can be key to keeping your financial house in order.
As you budget to pay your bills and save for future needs, keep in mind that your monthly retirement or disability benefit will be paid at the same time each month. To see your next payment date, create or log on to your my Social Security online account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and go to the “Benefits & Payments” section.
In general, here’s how we assign payment dates:
• If you were born on the first through the tenth of the month, you’ll be paid on the second Wednesday of the month;
• If you were born on the 11th through the 20th of the month, you’ll be paid on the third Wednesday of the month; and
• If you were born after the 20th of the month, you’ll be paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
There are exceptions. For example, children and spouses who receive benefits based on someone else’s work record will be paid on the same day as the primary beneficiary.
For others, we may issue your payments on the third of each month. Among other reasons, we do this if:
• You filed for benefits before May 1, 1997;
• You also receive a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment;
• Your Medicare premiums are paid for by the state where you live; or
• You live in a foreign country.
Individuals who receive SSI payments due to disability, age, or blindness receive those payments on the first of each month.
If your payment date falls on a federal holiday or weekend, you can expect to receive that month’s payment on the weekday immediately prior.
You can see a current schedule for Social Security and SSI benefit payments in an easy-to-read calendar at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031-2018.pdf.
Social Security is with you through life’s journey, helping you to secure today and tomorrow through important financial benefits, information, and planning tools. To learn more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov.
Q: What is the average Social Security retirement payment that a person receives each month?
A: The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker in 2018 is $1,404 (up from $1,360 in 2017). The average monthly Social Security benefit for a disabled worker in 2018 is $1,197 (up from $1,171 in 2017). As a reminder, eligibility for retirement benefits still requires 40 credits (usually about 10 years of work). The Social Security Act details how the COLA is calculated. You can read more about the COLA at www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
Q: Can I refuse to give my Social Security number to a private business?
A: Yes, you can refuse to disclose your Social Security number, and you should be careful about giving out your number. But, be aware, the person requesting your number can refuse services if you don’t give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone’s number and use it for any purpose that doesn’t violate a federal or state law. To learn more about your Social Security number, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Q: How do I report a lost Social Security card?
A: You do not have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security will not prevent misuse of your Social Security number. You should let us know if someone is using your number to work call 1-800-772-1213; TTY 1-800-325-0778.
If you think someone is using your number, there are several other actions you should take:
• Contact the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftc.gov/bcdp/edu/microsites/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338);
• File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov;
• Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 1-800-908-4490, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and
• Monitor your credit report.
Q: My brother had an accident at work last year and is now receiving Social Security disability benefits. His wife and son also receive benefits. Before his accident, he helped support another daughter by a woman he never married. Is the second child entitled to benefits?
A: The child may qualify for Social Security benefits even though your brother wasn’t married to the second child’s mother. The child’s caretaker should file an application on her behalf. For more information, visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov.