October is one of those weird months for Social Security payments, depending on what kind of benefits you qualify for. If you get regular retirement checks, you can expect to receive them as normal. But if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you won’t be getting any payment in October 2023.
Unlike Social Security checks, SSI checks don’t follow the same script every month. Because of a quirk in the payment schedule, SSI beneficiaries get two payments in March, June, September and December, while no payments are deposited in January, April, July and October. One check is issued the remaining four months: February, May, August and November.
As for retirement benefits, the schedule in October 2023 follows the same pattern as every other month. Retirement benefits are paid on the second, third and fourth Wednesdays of every month as determined by your date of birth. Here’s a look at the October payment schedule:
- If your birthday falls on the 1st through the 10th, you’ll receive your payment on the second Wednesday of the month, which is Oct. 11.
- If your birthday falls on the 11th through the 20th, you’ll be paid on the third Wednesday (Oct. 18).
- Those with birthdays on the 21st through 31st will be paid on the fourth Wednesday (Oct. 25).
- If you received Social Security before May 1997 or receive both Social Security and SSI benefits, then Social Security is paid on Sept. 3 You can see the full 2023 payment schedule here.
If you don’t receive your payment on your scheduled date, the SSA advises waiting three additional mailing days before contacting the agency. After that, you can call the agency at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can reach the SSA’s TTY line at 1-800-325-0778.
The average Social Security check as of August 2023 was $1,705.79 a month, according to the Social Security Administration. The average retirement benefit was $1,792.37 a month. Both of those figures are well up from last year thanks to an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2023 — the biggest in more than four decades.
However, the COLA is likely to be much smaller in 2024 due to this year’s slowing inflation rate. The most recent estimate from The Senior Citizens League is that the 2024 COLA will be 3.2%. Based on current payments, that would boost the average retirement check by $57.36 to $1,849.73 a month.
The official 2024 cost-of-living adjustment is expected to be announced on Oct. 12, when the September inflation numbers come out.
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