Is Your Social Security Payment Late? Here’s What To Do

Social security card and American money dollar bills close up concept.
Alexey Rotanov /

This month’s Social Security payments are on their way via direct deposit, but those expecting a check via mail always run the risk of it coming a little later. Every once in a while, your check can be delayed regardless of which method you choose for your benefit each month. The following circumstances may explain why your check could be delayed.

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A Change in Your Banking Information

If you changed your bank account information it’s possible this can cause delays in receiving your Social Security check. You will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA), usually via your local Social Security office, of the change in order to avoid problems in the future. 

You’ve Changed Your Address

The same rule applies for address changes as it does bank account information changes. If you have not notified the Social Security Administration or local field office of the change, it is possible you will experience a delay in payment. Even if you are scheduled for direct deposit, a mismatch of information could cause an issue.

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Field Office Delays

One of the most common reasons for payment delays: the Social Security office that is in charge of handling your payments experiences a hitch or slowdown in their processes. Events causing such hiccups in payment processing include pandemic-related shortages and holiday staff shortages. If the office that processes your payments falls behind schedule, your check is likely to be delayed as a result.

What to Do if Your Social Security Check Is Delayed

The first step to take if your Social Security payment is late is to wait at least three business days. The SSA generally makes payments on time, so it’s best to simply wait it out and see if it arrives in short order.

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If you suspect a late payment is due to a change in your personal banking details — or because of an address change — or any other substantive reason, you need to call your local Social Security office or the Social Security Administration office. The SSA can be reached via phone at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8 a.m. through 7 p.m. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing may reach the SSA’s TTY line at 1-800-325-0778.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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