In the spirit of giving during the month of December, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be issuing two checks instead of one, but only to those who qualify for Supplement Security Income (SSI) benefits. This is not a special holiday gesture, as the SSA actually sends out two checks every quarter, and December happens to be one of those months.
The first SSI check will be issued on Friday, Dec. 1, with the second check following four weeks later on Friday, Dec. 29. This payment schedule is due to a quirk in the system, where SSI beneficiaries receive two payments in March, June, September, and December. However, they do not receive any payments in January, April, July, and October. In the remaining four months, only one check is issued. The extra payment in December can be considered an advance for the following month.
If you expect to receive your payment and it does not arrive on the scheduled date, the SSA recommends allowing three additional mailing days before contacting the agency. For those who receive direct deposits, the payment should arrive on the scheduled date, but the availability of funds may depend on the individual’s bank.
SSI benefits are specifically provided to low-income individuals with limited resources who are blind or aged 65 and older, or those with a qualifying disability that prevents them from working and is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
In terms of retirement benefits, the payment schedule for December 2023 follows the same pattern as every other month. Retirement benefits are paid on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays of each month, determined by the individual’s date of birth. Here is the schedule for December:
– If your birthday falls between the 1st and the 10th, you will receive your payment on the second Wednesday of the month (Dec. 13).
– If your birthday falls between the 11th and the 20th, you will be paid on the third Wednesday (Dec. 20).
– Those with birthdays between the 21st and the 31st will be paid on the fourth Wednesday (Dec. 27).
– If you started receiving Social Security before May 1997 or receive both Social Security and SSI benefits, your payment will be on Dec. 3. The full 2023 payment schedule can be found here.
December will be the last month that Social Security recipients receive payments with the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 8.7%, the highest increase in over four decades. Starting in January 2024, checks will reflect a COLA of 3.2%, which will boost the average retirement check by approximately $57 per month.
It’s important to note that not everyone receives the full 3.2% COLA increase. The specific amount may vary depending on individual circumstances.
Overall, the SSA’s payment schedule for December ensures that individuals receiving SSI and retirement benefits will receive their payments on specific dates according to their birth month or other eligibility criteria.