Can I Keep This Benefit Payment?

August 17, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

two women looking at laptopSocial Security is with you through life’s journey, securing today and tomorrow for millions of people. We know that reliability and dependability is an important part of your financial security. We use the same throughout the month eligibility rules for the first month’s Social Security check through the last month’s check, so it’s easy to know when checks are payable.

If you meet all the requirements to receive benefits, Social Security pays your benefit after you have lived throughout the month. At 62, the first month many people are eligible for benefits may be in the month after their birthday. Social Security follows an English law that says you actually reach your age the day before your birthday. So, if you were born on the first or second day of the month, your first month of eligibility will be your birthday month. If you were born on any other day in the month, the first month you could be eligible to receive benefits will be the month after your birthday month. When starting benefits after age 62, people are eligible to be paid for the month they file, since they were previously age 62 throughout the month.

For example, if Michael is born on June 1 or 2 and is age 62, he is eligible in June, and the first month he will receive his benefit payment is July. If Michael’s birthday is any other day in June, the first month he will be eligible for benefits is July and his first benefit will be paid in August. If Michael starts benefits at age 63 and files in June, he can be paid for June in July.

Benefits are always paid the following month for all types of Social Security benefits including retirement, disability and survivors.  This does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Being eligible throughout the month also applies to the month of death of a Social Security beneficiary. To be eligible for the payment, the person must have lived all month long to receive the payment that comes the following month. That includes throughout the entire last day of the month.  Your survivor may be eligible for a payment for the last month and should contact us at 1-800-772-1213. For information about applying for survivors benefits, visit our Survivors Benefits page.

Understanding how the benefits are paid gives you a sense of certainty about your payments.

You’ll know how to plan when starting benefits and what happens to the last check. We continue to secure your today and tomorrow by providing the Social Security information you need.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications




  2. Kathy

    Who is AKA and what qualifications do they have to be responding to the questions here? I don’t think they’re a SS employee because of the snippy replies.

  3. Frank

    Is social security benefits at full retirement need to be filed with the I.R.S. if it’s the only income?? Account says I don’t need to file .

    • Gary W.

      If your SS is your only income, you do not have to file a Federal tax return. Your state may have different rules, or you may qualify for some type of rent or property tax credit from you state or some other state benefit. The folks at H & R Block will be able to explain the rules.

      • R.F.

        Some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits. For further income tax questions, contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040

    • R.F.

      Hi Frank, some people may have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this helps!

  4. Jenny W.

    I agree 100%

    • Lesly F.


      • Gary W.

        Your comment makes no sense. What is ” I’m stay”? Why do you need SSI? Are you too lazy to work or what?

        • Bettyg

          Gary is a troll should be banned from posting in concert comments.

          There’s enough in this world without coming here to the board and reading crap like it is.

          • Marianne C.

            I agree!!

        • Bettyg

          Gary is a troll should be banned from posting in concert comments.

          • gary w.

            Betty, I am not a troll. You sound like something that rhymes with witch. I am a very conservative person, not a crying liberal that believes the government is Santa Claus.

        • Lynda

          Annoying comments as if no one ever gets disabled. People ramming vans into people here and in Barcelona kill and maim people. Those maimed are not lazy because psychos decided to ram a van or truck into them. If it happens to someone you know or someone in your family – you’ll think differently but it seems you lack empathy for others.

  5. Mary L.

    I believe your example, “if Michael is born on June 1 or 2 and is age 62, the first month he will receive his benefit payment is July.” is wrong!! According to the previous paragraph, “So, if you were born on the first or second day of the month, your first month of eligibility will be your birthday month.”
    Didn’t anyone proof read this before publication?

    • AKA

      Evidently you didn’t. The first month of eligibility is paid the following month.

    • Lesley K.

      Right, you can say the money comes at the end of the month you live through, but, it takes another month to send the check to you.

    • John K.

      I believe you are correct, Mary. The rule (not the example) is more likely the actual policy. Blog editor, please address this!

      • R.F.

        Retirement benefits can begin the first month a person is age 62 throughout the entire month. At 62, the first month many people are eligible for benefits may be in the month after their birthday. However, Social Security follows an English law that says you actually reach your age the day before your birthday. For example, a person born January 15, 2003 will attain age one on January 14, 2004. Therefore, a person is age 62 throughout an entire month if the 62nd birthday is on the first or second day of that month. Thanks.

  6. Lucinda A.

    I receive a mere $564.00 a month, and its not enough to live on! I’m 68 and have recently had a Bo lateral mastectomy due to breast cancer! Are there any programs that can help me pay my bills?

    • AKA

      Contact your local Public Assistance office. It appears you are entitled to some assistance.

      • SHIRLEY R.

        Lucinda SHOULD BE on Disability!!!

        • Harry H.

          LIke AKA said There is no disability after you reach full retirement age. Your payments stay the same.
          which is 65 with some activation dates before your converted over for me my il be at full retirement age @ 66 no matter what the laws says …as for your payments do stay the same unless congress finds it there heart to give us more each year which they can but won’t .

          • Maka

            Congress has no heart!!

        • Gary W.

          Disability ends when you reach full retirement age.

          Why didn’t she save for her retirement to supplement her social security Where was her head the last 68 years.?

          • Bettyg

            Where is your compassion? Until you walk in someone shoes keep quiet.

          • neila

            i agree with this statement.
            most people on here are arguing that they should get more but did nothing to be sure they were going to be taken care of in their retirement years.

        • O.D

          Learn the rules before you comment once you reach full social security age there is no disability

          • gary w.

            Bettg, I do have lots of compassion. Why do so many people think it is the government’s responsibility to take care of all our our needs. If we could weed out the fraudsters, we could give the seniors a bigger SS check.

            So. so many people do not want to take care of their future by putting money into some type of retirement account. I see it every day.

            A couple that makes $75,000-$100,000 a year, and say they cannot afford it. Sure they can’t with their $500,000 house and drive a Hummer, etc.

    • A.C.

      Hi, Lucinda. Thank you for your question. For your security, we do not have access to personal information in this venue. We do ask that members in our Blog community continue to work with our offices with questions about their specific case. Please call us 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day. Or you can contact your local Social Security office.

      You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

  7. Betty J.

    Question: I am 88 years old. I still work full time, draw my Social Sec. and pay taxes on it as well as my salary.
    I pay SS on my salary as well. I have Medicare only.
    In just a few months I will have to retire, my body is beginning to deteriate and can hardly get around. I have no retirement from my company. Would I draw Disability
    or continue with SS only. Would there be any additional funds.

    • AKA

      There is no disability after you reach full retirement age. Your payments stay the same.

    • Lesley K.

      I’m started drawing SSA Disability at age 52 due to a destroyed back, so I drew disability at about $50 more per month until I reached my 65th birthday. it then switched from disability to regular SS at the same amount I had been getting.

      • Gary W.

        I disagree. Social Security is not a welfare program. If you paid into it, you are entitled to receive the benefit, no matter what your income is. Period.
        Isn’t the government paying interest on the money it has borrowed from Social Security? It is a LOAN, not a raid. Period.
        One of the problems with SS Disability is the Fraud involved. I think I read that 50% of disability payment are fraudulent. Look at all the advertising the scamming attorneys do, urging you to claim Disability, so that can take a huge chuck of your settlement.
        I am a tax preparer. You would not believe the people that come in that get Disability or SSI. And there is nothing wrong with them. I remember one woman whose wrist hurt from flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s. Another had a “bad Back”. He was maybe 40 years old. 2 weeks later, I saw him roofing his house a couple block from our office

        Billions could be saved every year if we cracked not on all the scammers.

        • Gary W.

          The above post somehow got was a reply to another post where someone said the wealthy should not get Social Security. I have no ideqa how it got posted here.

        • O.D

          Did you report the one with the back problem if not then don’t complain

          • gary w.

            Our ethical requirements from the IRS do not allow us to discuss any tax related matters of any individual without their express permission.

            If we could do this , I could probably come up with a billion dollars of potential fraud. What a shame, and what a scam.

        • Maka

          First YOU said your a tax preparer. YOUR NOT a DOCTOR. Second,that guy that said he had a bad back,he also may have big bills he can’t afford to pay the doctors and has no choice but to endure that kind of pain to get income in that CONGRESS KEEPS TAKING and SAYING their paying back.
          Why can’t Congress,Everyone of them give their entire salary back to the social security Dept.. In one year of their salary it would put a hugh dent in the amount THEY have to BORROW. Let’s face it they can afford one years salary, your the tax preparer,you must have seen that,too.

          • gary w.

            Give me a break Maka. Yes, I am not a Doctor, but is very evident when you see someone humping shingles up to a roof, that they can not disabled to the point they could not work.

            I have seen thousands of these type of people in the last 30 years. I could write a book about all the fraud.

      • Bettyg

        Same with me.

        • gary w.

          Betty, wake up amd look at reality. I have no issue with a truly disabled people getting benefits.

  8. William L.

    Please see my reply above.

  9. William L.

    I’m 100% disabled. I receive workers’ compensation.
    Before I turned 62 I also received Social Security disability at 100% but was off set by workers’ compensation.
    I’m now in my seventies, 71 in Dec 2017. My disability is getting worse by the day. Do I qualify for in-house assistance? And if I do what steps do I take?
    Thank you, really appreciate your emails.
    William Leroy Hicks

    • AKA

      No, Federally there is no such thing but the State may be able to help. Contact your local county VA rep if you are a veteran, if not contact your local Public Assistance Office.

    • A.C.

      We are sorry to hear about your condition, William. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

      • Rogelio N.

        Can you please address these yearly letters, form, prequesting information and if not returned within 60 days were cut off for 1 year. Yes I did get that amount back.
        I just recently got another letters and did returned it on time. But no confirmation that the form was received. Now I’m stressed not knowing.

        • R.F.

          Hi Rogelio. Unfortunately and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide you with an explanation and answer questions about the content of the letters you received. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or contact your local Social Security office directly.

      • Julia L.

        Me. Clifton, thank you for providing this valuable information. It’s a little frightening, and discouraging, when simple needs or efforts to maintain a very basic, small life become more and more difficult.
        I’m very grateful for the reply you provided William. I will reach out to those services and do my best to remain hopeful!

    • Harry H.

      Medicare right now does cover that 100 % look it up .. it’s in Home Health Care under medicare You pay nothing. not sure if it needs some kind of in network or out of network . sense medicare is usually who ever takes it you can go with like ALL INSURANCE should be . and no profit for health .

      but there may be other charges you would have to ask medicare and if you have a med cap plan it may cover everything else .

  10. David R.

    Speaking out for the preservation of social security for the elderly is dangerous in the Trump world today. He is known to retaliate against anyone who does not agree with him. Congress needs to put back the money they (borrowed) from the social security funds. There should also be no payouts for the grossly wealthy who do not need it.

    • Camilla T.

      Agree 100%

      • Bettyg

        Agree 100

      • Bettyg


      • Rob

        I agree with both suggestions: legislature payback and no payments to the wealthy. Imdont have much faith in either of these happening.

        • BJ

          What is your definition of wealthy? Each person has to pay into SS as do their employer. So why do you think they should lose that money which a retirement plan?

          • donna c.

            if the wealthy paid in it is their right to collect it at retirement

          • Trish

            Yes you have paid but if your financially stable you should think of those who are not. It’s not that they haven’t done their part but perhaps there’s a unforeseen situation as is with many people. Wouldn’t you rather it go help people who really need it?

      • Margaret

        He thinks he’s in Russia. He’s thinks he can run this country like a business. It just doesn’t work that way.
        If you win the lottery,there should be no payments until or when they can prove they have LOST all that income.He retaliates against the people he is supposed to serve. That threat needs to stop too.this is The United States!

        • Lou

          100% in favor

    • AKA

      And the Clinton’s never retaliated? Your remark was childish and unsubstantiated. When the $ is “borrowed” is is guaranteed by Treasury notes. It is best you know what you are talking about before you open your trap.

      • Dr. P.

        Message to AKA. Are you an employee of the federal government or SSA? I see that you follow this blog closely and provide numerous responses. Perhaps you are well versed on Soc Security policy and procedures. Your responses / advise would be more creditable if you were were more thoughtful and considerate to others. In one response, you would have been more helpful and informative if you explained the structure and use of the SS Trust fund which provided support to many individuals with disabilities. Most folks do not understand that SS payments are not ‘money in the bank.’ People who are working contribute funds for those who are receiving benefits.

      • Discourghed

        I also agree with AKA. The comment about Trump is absurd. Act like an adult not a liberal. When a govt official is loaned money in reality they should pay it back. But previous admins decided to keep large funds for their personal use
        But when a vrooked attorney from kentucky stole a half a billion and prosecuted he decided hed rather cut his ankle bracelet off and skip the country and keep the money.
        Fraud is the biggest problem that drains SSAs funds.

        • Connie C.

          The adult not a Liberal remark was also a childish statement.

          • Pat

            Agree .. For many people out there that don’t understand; being a liberal adult is quite common.

          • Discouraged

            I failed to see any question or any factual information youve provided. Its understandable when people come here to voice their frustration over personal situations. Especially when they have lost everything with no place to go,no food,no money,sick with no meds and no hope. The people who die waiting on Ssa is staggering. They feel betrayed by a govt that they believed in. Theyve become desperate and forgotten from a system put in placethat was meant to help qualified citizens.. Theyve come here to vent at times so the frustration may not always be factual. They dont deserve nasty,cruel,rude,mean people just trolling the site with their childish comments and no real advise or helpful information to give.
            The only advise or information the Comissione that monitors this site directs people to call the SSA or create an account,send an email or refer a publicaton to read.. Which is repeated through out the blog is unnecessary. Post this information once at the top of the blog seems sufficent. Unless theres a more complete and helpful answer to a question their desperately seeking. I suggest you troll another blog if you have nothing helpful to say.

      • Connie C.

        Both of the remarks by you and previous were childish.

      • Harry H.

        being up Clinton when Clinton has nothing to do with trump makes your remark sound childish and unsubstantiated… and if you do disagree with trump watch out that’s not how the US should be run.. we are still a free nation …

        • Pissed o.

          How do you figure we’re free? We use to be a Free Nation, but not so much anymore.

      • dee

        wow! that was really rude. and no the goverment took money from social security and did not put it back and now they complain and scare everyone saying the ss will not be enough down the road for everyone

        • Chris

          What i didn’t get? Is for 2017 we only got 1.2% increase for SSDI and SSI.We should of gotten more i am hoping in 2018 we get 8.2 % or like we got on 2016

      • Margaret

        This isn’t CHILDISH !! this social security check CONGRESS “IS BORROWING” AND HAS NEVER PUT BACK, is the very money I need to live off of. You need to stop talking while you have that silver spoon in your mouth !!!!

        • R.F.

          Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

          • Pissed o.

            Why, when someone fights so hard for their disability, and only 1/2 their heart is working, does SSA drag their feet giving them their disability, and when they do get it, 2 years later, and they pass away 2 months later, why they don’t give their spouse the back pay? SSA office gives it quick to alcoholics, but not to someone whose worked hard all their life, but give it to the alcoholics so they can buy more alcohol. Messed up system

          • J W.

            What a bunch of bull! The government has never paid any stolen, not borrowed, any money back. The ” special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities” are worthless paper. The stolen funds are part of the 20 trillion outstanding debt. Do not insult us with your bull!

      • Heathb

        Why do you have to be so freaking NASTY! You remind me of that so called president ‘trump’ . before you say it… My response isn’t nasty and without hints of hate. I J S

        • Al

          No room for the never trump HATERS! True that is a hate group! The biggest problem lies with Bill Clinton who “balanced” his budget by doing away with “general welfare ” fund and paying welfare out of Social Security funds. Had this not happened there would be no SSI Payments breaking the Social Security Fund Account that was created for the workers who became disabled to the point of not being able to do substantial gainful employment and the people lucky enough to live to whatever age the congress will decide a person can retire! You should only draw % of what you have paid in! If you haven’t contributed you have no business drawing from SS. Bring back general welfare fund and workable people will go back to work! Might be their first time to try to work

          Ok let’s here it!

          • Tom

            Sorry. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan clearly stated: you are entitled to your own beliefs but not your own facts. SSI began under Richard Nixon. It never took a dime from the social security trust funds. It is paid out of general revenue. It is also not a personal retirement investment as you infer, but social insurance. That means the monthly amount is tied to your average monthly contributions in earnings, but since you don’t have the money in a sub-account in your name, you can never run out. You will be paid as long as you are alive. It may be time to rethink the formulas since more people are living longer than they were in 1936. However, there are no lifetime caps because it is insurance against lost wages or self-employment income. Congress has partially offset longer lives by (eventually) moving the full retirement age to age 67, but you can still start at age 62. Finally, Treasury Funds are an enormous IOU against the federal tax payers. For years the world has found them a gold-plated and safe place to park money, and they have the full faith and guarantee of the US government….even if they have to print new money to pay them off!

          • Rick

            Why don’t all of you check what you have written prior to posting it? Some of this is pure gibberish. Slow down and get it right.

    • SHIRLEY R.

      David Riley…I AGREE!!!

    • Eva S.

      AMEN, Mr. Riley!

    • Robert L.

      Anyone that has paid into social security deserves to receive payments regardless of financial status!

      • Lou


      • Skylynn

        I Agree!

    • Greg A.

      As for the social security preservation or lack thereof….The age to receive benefits will undoubtedly be increased, with reduced benefits for those like myself who have put so much into the pot.

      BTW – The gov’t did not “borrow” the money. The money was misappropriated, stolen by politicians more concerned with re-election than their own Country. These idiot politicians are destroying our Country year by year. Soon the debt will be too much to overcome. Dooms Day is quickly approaching. I think any politician that has served for more than 20 years in federal gov’t ought to be thrown in jail for what they have done. As I type this the politicians are on vacation yet again.

      • J W.

        100% agree. Throw all past office holders all in jail and drain the swamp of all present office holders that do not vote for paying back stolen funds.

    • David P.


    • Sophia

      Well said…i agree 1000%.
      Please keep up your wonderful efforts!!

    • Joe W.

      We deserve to be protected from government shutdowns stopping the essential llfeservices that our SSA)SSDI, Medicare Mediicaid benefits provide. We kept our end of the deal and paid into this contract with the American People and Government. Playing chicken with our lives Everytime some politicians ego causes him to use us as ransomees in some political idea they can’t get passed by constitutional means goes beyond cruelty, it is criminal. This perennial threat needs to be ended. It is just not right to use us as a means to achieve someone’s political goal. In fact we were promised our benefits would be protected – the President said so. So what is being done to insure people don’t get hurt in a misguided approach to buld a wall or force another loss of our ability to borrow capital?

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