Social Security: You Could Get a Second Check in September — Here’s Why

Senior woman getting the mail stock photo
MonicaNinker /

September is an important month for Social Security recipients for a couple of reasons — one of which is that it’s the final month of U.S. inflation data used to determine next year’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The other reason is that certain Social Security recipients will get two checks in September 2023.

Those checks will be issued to people who qualify for Supplement Security Income (SSI) benefits. The first SSI check will be issued on Friday, Sept. 1, according to the Social Security Administration. The second will be issued four weeks later, on Friday, Sept. 29.

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. The extra payment in September can be considered an advance for the next month.

If you don’t receive your payment on the expected date, the SSA advises allowing three additional mailing days before contacting the agency. If you receive a direct deposit, you can expect to receive your payment on the scheduled date, but availability of the funds might depend on your bank.

Are You Retirement Ready?

SSI benefits are provided to low-income individuals with limited resources who are blind or age 65 or older, or who have a qualifying disability. A qualifying disability is one that keeps you from working and is expected to last one year or result in death

In 2023, the federal SSI benefit rate is $914 for an individual and $1,371 for a couple. However, some states supplement the federal SSI benefit with additional payments, which makes the total SSI benefit higher. SSI benefit amounts and state supplemental payment amounts vary based upon your income, living arrangements and other factors.

The following states and U.S. territories do not pay a supplement to SSI recipients: Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Social Security retirement benefits will be paid on the usual schedule in September 2023. If your birthday falls on the 1st through the 10th, you will receive your payment on the second Wednesday of the month, which is Sept. 13. If your birthday falls on the 11th through the 20th, you’ll be paid on the second Wednesday (Sept. 20). Those with birthdays on the 21st through 31st will be paid on the third Wednesday (Sept. 27).

Are You Retirement Ready?

If you received Social Security before May 1997 or receive both Social Security and SSI, then Social Security is paid on Sept. 3 and SSI is paid on Sept. 1 and Sept. 29. You can see the full 2023 payment schedule here.

Meanwhile, September’s inflation rate will have a lot to say about the 2024 Social Security COLA. The COLA is based on third-quarter inflation (July, August and September) as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The SSA bases its calculation on the percentage increase in the CPI-W in the third quarter compared with the prior year.

Because of falling inflation this year, the 2024 COLA is expected to be around 3.0% — well down from the 2023 COLA of 8.7%.

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