Why Did I Get Two Social Security Checks This Month?

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Social Security is generally a once-per-month proposition. However, in certain cases, Social Security beneficiaries can receive more than one check per month. For some this is a normal occurrence, but for others it can mark some type of irregularity.

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If you receive two Social Security checks in a single month, it pays to understand why, and to know if you should expect the same payment schedule in the future. Here are the main reasons why a recipient might get two Social Security checks in a single month.

You Are Receiving Both Social Security Retirement and SSI Payments

Social Security retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments are two different benefits. You will never receive your retirement benefits and your SSI payments on the same date, so if you qualify for both, you should expect two separate payments every month.

You Are Receiving Both Social Security Disability and SSI Payments

If you receive both Social Security disability payments and SSI checks, you’re in the same situation as if you are getting both retirement and SSI payments. Those are two separate programs operated under the Social Security Administration, so their payments are not linked.

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Social Security disability payments are made on the same date as retirement benefits, and in fact once you reach full retirement age, your disability payments will convert to retirement benefits. This means that your payment date will remain the same, even if the amount may change.

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There Is a Quirk in the Calendar

In months where bank holidays occur, SSI payments may be pushed up. This can result in beneficiaries receiving two payments in a month. However, this doesn’t mean that beneficiaries are being paid double. In fact, for some, it may mess up their budgeting a bit.

This is because in any month where someone receives two SSI payments, they won’t receive any the following month. For example, in April 2022, SSI beneficiaries received payments on April 1 and April 29, but they didn’t receive any payments at all in May 2022. Although the payment is usually only accelerated by a couple of days, it could be confusing for recipients who aren’t aware of this quirk in the system.

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You Are Owed Back Payments

If you are owed back payments on your Social Security record, you may end up receiving more than one payment per month. This happens most often if you were recently approved for disability payments. The length of time between your “Established Onset Date” (EOD) and when you actually got your first payments determines how much you are owed in back benefits. Once those payments begin, they will arrive at a different time than your regular monthly checks.

How Are Payment Dates Determined?

Your Social Security payments are made based on the date of your birth, according to the following schedule:

  • Birth date 1-10: payments on 2nd Wednesday of month
  • Birth date 11-20: payments on 3rd Wednesday of month
  • Birth date 21-31: payments on 4th Wednesday of month

Supplemental Security Income is generally paid on the 1st of every month. However, as shown above, sometimes SSI can be paid twice per month, based on the calendar. For example, in 2022, second SSI payments were made on April 29 and September 30 and will be again on December 30.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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