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Why can my Social Security direct deposit be late?

Despite the fact that Social Security payments tend to arrive on time, no online process is exempted from delays. Here is a guide for how to deal with late payments.

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If you are eligible and have applied for Social Security (SS) benefits, you should expect to receive checks every month.

To ensure benefits are distributed in a timely manner, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends various batches throughout the month. Payments are meant to enter people's accounts on Wednesdays. However, when your money reaches your account depends on your birthday. This means that beneficiaries born earlier in the month, regardless of the specific month, will receive their payments before those who were born at the end of the month. 

Scroll down to learn why your payment is delayed and what to do in each case.

When should I receive my SSI check?

The SSA office sends monthly payments that will orderly arrive based on your date of birth.

Payment arrivals based on date of birth

  • Born on the 1st through the 10th: Your payment should arrive the second Wednesday of each month 
  • Born on the 11th through the 20th: Your payment should arrive the third Wednesday of each month
  • Born on the 21st through the 31st: Your payment should arrive the fourth Wednesday of each month

Reasons why payments are often delayed

It is normal for your initial SS payment to take up to 90 days to arrive after an application is submitted. However, if you are a reoccurring recipient, and more than a week has passed since your distribution date, it is considered a delay. But what could be causing a delay?

Your payment could be delayed for several reasons. The most common is that the SSA office, in charge of issuing the payments, is experiencing a slow down in their process. In this case, the only thing to do is patiently wait until your check arrives. 

Furthermore, another reason for your check to be late could be linked to the fact that you recently changed home or adddress and forgot to notify the SSA office.

In addition, note that if you changed bank accounts recently you must also notify the SSA, as this could also delay your payment.

What to do if my Social Security payment is late?

If you suspect your check might have been stolen contact the SSA immediately.

If your delay is due to a change in personal details such as banking account or address, call your local office or 1-800-772-1213 (M-F 7 a.m.- 7 p.m.)

However, for any other delays, the SSA recommends you to wait three business days for your check to arrive, after that date you should call 1-800-772-1213 or visit your nearest SSA office.