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Social Security Payments for December: When Is Your Money Coming?

Social Security payments for December started going out this week. See when your payment will arrive.

examining cash with a magnifying glass
Your birthday determines the timing of your Social Security payments.
Sarah Tew/CNET

The Social Security Administration this week started disbursing December payments. In January 2023, you'll get your first increased benefit amount. For those who receive Supplemental Security Income, you'll get your first increase in December. We'll explain why below and how the timing of Social Security payments works. (Here's the schedule for Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries.)

This month, keep an eye out for a letter in the mail about your Social Security benefits increase for 2023. It'll have details about your individual benefit rate increase for next year -- or you can also check your benefits online using your My Social Security account.  

Read on to find out when you'll get your Social Security check this month and how your payment date is determined. Just started receiving Social Security payments? Here's how to pause them and potentially get a larger amount later. Also, here's the best time to start collecting your benefits and how to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

Read more: Stimulus Checks: 18 States Are Sending Tax Rebates to Residents

How are Social Security payment dates determined?

The Social Security Administration sends out payments on three different Wednesdays of each month -- the second, third and fourth. On which Wednesday you receive your money depends on your birth date. Payments for SSI recipients generally arrive on the first of each month (see below). We'll break it down.

  • If your birthday falls between the 1st and 10th of the month, your payment will be sent out on the second Wednesday of the month.
  • If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th of the month, your payment will be sent out on the third Wednesday of the month.
  • If your birthday falls between the 21st and 31st of the month, your payment will be sent out on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
savings in a bag with a dollar sign

Your payment date depends on your birthday and when you started receiving benefits.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What if I receive both Social Security and SSI?

If you received Social Security benefits before May 1997, or if you receive both Social Security and SSI, the payment schedule is different. Instead of getting your payments on a Wednesday, you'll receive your Social Security payment on the third day of each month and your SSI on the first day of each month.

However, those payment dates change if the first or third day of the month falls on a weekend. For instance, Oct. 1 fell on a Saturday this year, so SSI recipients received their October payments a day early on Sept. 30 and their Social Security payment on Monday, Oct. 3. The same will apply in December for January 2023 payments.

When will I get my December Social Security check?

Here's the December schedule (PDF) for when you could get your Social Security check and/or SSI money:

  • Dec. 1: Payment for those who receive SSI. 
  • Dec. 2: Social Security payment for those who receive both SSI and Social Security, or have received Social Security since before May 1997. 
  • Dec. 14: Social Security payment for those with birthdays falling between the first and 10th of any given month.
  • Dec. 21: Social Security payment for those with birthdays falling between the 11th and 20th of any given month.
  • Dec. 28: Social Security payment for those with birthdays falling between the 21st and 31st of any given month.
  • Dec. 30: January SSI payment. This check will have the COLA increase.

Note that Nov. 23 was the final payment date for November.

What if I don't receive my check on the expected date?

If your check doesn't arrive on the date listed above based on your birth date or other circumstances, the Social Security Administration says to wait three additional mailing days before calling. If you still haven't received it, you can then call 800-772-1213 to speak with a representative.

The SSA notes that wait times to speak with a representative are shorter Wednesday through Friday and later in the day (between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time).

While you wait, you can also access your Social Security benefits online by visiting ssa.gov/myaccount.

We update this story each month as the payment dates change.