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.

Tags: , , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Terri H.

    My spouse has terminal lung cancer and is receiving SSDI I am 63 and started my benefits at 62 which is quite less than what he gets. My question is if he were to pass can I switch to his benefits or amt I stuck with mines.

  2. John

    Bernie wants Medicare for everyone, so what has he been snorting?

  3. j.Adams


  4. JOSEPH Z.


  5. Lisa

    If I collect at 62, and stay unemployed until full retirement, will my benefits increase at 67? Or would working part time until 67 AND taking SS increase my benefits at 67 at all?

    • O.D

      The answer is no

    • j.Adams


    • Chris

      Your benefits would stay the same unless your part time earnings would kick out a 0 or lower year earnings that were originally used in the 35 years that were used to compute the benefit you receive now. If they did replace the 0 year or lower year then you would see an increase in your benefit.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for contacting us Lisa. If a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. In the other hand, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. To learn more read our publication “How Work Affects Your Benefits”. We hope this information helps!

  6. Hospitals &.

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families HA-17-8-17

    TANF, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, was created in the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193). This $20 billion a year block grant to States replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and other related welfare programs in Sec. 401 of Title IV-A of the Social Security Act as codified 42USC§601 et seq. Like the federal minimum wage, TANF benefits have not grown 3% annually to stay ahead of consumer price index (CPI) inflation averaging 2.7%. Nor has TANF spending increased 4% to provide for 1% population growth and 3% annual benefit increase . Furthermore, more than 4 million certified births in Republican administrations and less during Democratic administrations is 1.2% of 330 million Social Security Area population 2016. It is necessary to produce a three year budget request for the TANF Program. TANF benefit spending has declined from 75% in 1994 to 25% of total “TANF” spending in 2017. The United States needs to end FY 17 approving TANF family and child benefits. In the final reckoning FY 17 needs to begin to account for “undistributed offsetting receipts” by sustaining a TANF budget that is somewhat less than the FY 17 Administration for Children and Families (ACF) TANF spending estimate of $20.1 billion FY 17 growing 4% to $20.9 billion FY 18 in this budget. Federal TANF spending should grow 4% annually from the prevailing FY 17 TANF budget request – 2.5% growth for administration, 3% growth for social work and child care, 3% growth for benefits, and >1.2% beneficiary population growth until the child poverty rate is normalized. TANF benefit spending shall sustain family benefits under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 18 December 1979 and child benefits under Art. 26 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 2 September 1990.

    Trump Administration’s planned FY 18 TANF budget cuts, renege on Obama Administration’s FY 17 TANF budget of $20.1 billion, would provide for 0% growth from $17.4 billion FY 16 and FY 17, and reduce TANF spending to $15.1 billion FY 18, mostly by cutting federal spending for benefits. Family benefits are more expensive than the FY 15 fiscal report lets on. If the dead beat President’s daughter cannot get her father to agree with his predecessor and this budget, the Secretary of Health and Human Services may also makes loans, repayable in 3 years, particularly in anti-welfare fraud cases under Sec. 406 of the Social Security Act under 42USC§606 et seq. $13.9 billion total federal spending estimated in FY 2015 Federal TANF & State MOE Financial Data seems low. After checking the subtotals for accuracy, total funds used was $15.4 billion FY 15 and the grand total with social service block grant and child care development fund was $17.9 billion not $16.4 billion FY15. The FY 16 TANF deficit of $1.1 billion is covered by the negligent method of accounting for $1.4 billion federal unliquidated obligations. Federal unliquidated obligations are not a generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP). Liability for the non-support of the FY 18 TANF budget request failure to distribute FY 17 child benefit obligations, to the burgeoning population of children growing up in poor families, is expressed as undistributed offsetting receipt from the FY 17 TANF budget request figures under 18USC§228 (b-d).

  7. Tom T.

    You all should do some serious research. Lyndon Johnson
    “borrowed” the SS and Medicare funds to pay for his “Great Society” program. Both funds are now being paid from taxes and “borrowed” money. That is partially why we, the U.S. Govt, in in debt over 17 trillion dollars.

    • Harry H.

      That is true . i knew that .. SS has saved so many lives and the US in so many ways, i still can’t believe or understand how Paul Ryan wants to privatize it . sense SS put him though school and saved his but til he meet his rich wife.

      • Lynda

        He went on survivorship benefit in college when his father passed away. His father made his big money from the Federal Highway program ( construction company got Fedreal money ) yet he has the nerve to say in Florida during the 2012 campaign where his mother retired in Florida to the crowd that he would never tondo anything to harm his mothers benefit! This is what I mean about those that want to cut benefits until their family receives benefits but they no empathy for t”the others” They are so religious they forget ” There but for the grace of God ho I

  8. K

    I have a serious question. It’s been a few years but it still is bothering me. Does anyone know or can anyone explain to me these two issues.
    It’s kind of a long story so I will try to be as concise as possible. I am 47yo and on disability. I am a married. I have been newly married since 2011. I have two (now adult children) I applied for disability at the very end of 2014. At the time my youngest was in his last year of high school. I was approved in early of 2015. Only the few months it took to gather my medical info as I have been dealing with cancer. With an onset date of May, 2009. I never received a benifit for my son. As I was told by one SsA agent that I made too much money in child support. While another told me that child support was not considered income. I’ve also heard it’s counted but only one third. Now because of my illness. I my husband being my caregiver was temporarily unemployed. Because of my child support they said which was $1025. Monthly basically the only $ we had I was not eligible for SSI. I only received my SSDI which was $508 at that time. Also they said I didn’t pay enough in my record although .. as I said i had $508 from SSDI of which I payed into. So there’s one question about child support and SSI.
    I basically never fought this as I was too week at the time. Now more importantly today.
    After my son turned 18 I was awardees SSI .. I get in total just under $800. a month in the combo of SSI and My SSDI. I have become ill again with recurrence and my husband is carting me to Boston for treatment. So he is not working again at this time. I now try to see if we are eligible for an increase in SSI. They say I am not. I am considered singer and not a couple?? Hence the amount I get stays. That a couple is meaning both people are disabled?
    Does anyone have any input on this? I am a bit shy to say the least considering my past experiences. Not so much about the past as that’s the past but on SSI for a married couple in out situation? Where the wife is disabled and the husband has income at this time?
    Thank you in advance.

    • K

      That was meant to say *no income at this time.. sorry for the typos.

    • Gary W.

      Sorry for your illnesses You have very many issues. You need to talk with an expert in your area. If you can’t afford a lawyer, contact your local bar association for a free referral, or may you have an Area Aging Assistance program.

    • Chris

      For SSI purposes they consider you a single disabled individual. The couples rate is when both individuals are disabled or aged with income that meets the SSI criteria. Child support only had an impact on SSI eligibility. As far as your child receiving a benefit from your SSDI your $508 probably also was the amount of the family maximum that could be paid to you and your family members and in that situation there was nothing they could pay your child. That is common when one has a low SSDI payment. With your husband not working and being your caregiver I would suggest that you contact the state as they do administer a program which will pay him as a caregiver for you. Good luck to you.

    • Jeff

      You would have to actually have someone from Social Security look into your record to verify.

      I can say that I am almost positive on what happened in your case though.

      When someone gets SSDI it is true that children can get benefits BUT you have to have money left over in your family maximum.

      Here is an example: John receives $1,000 per month in SSDI and his family maximum is $1,500. His child, under 18 can receive $500 (half of his record but not to exceed the family maximum).

      In your case, I would highly suspect that your SSDI payment of $508 was equal to the family maximum. Generally, someone’s family max is 1.5 times what their check is. BUT in some cases, when a worker has paid enough into Social Security to become “insured” to get SSDI they didn’t pay enough in to be able to have a family maximum of 1.5 to 1.8 times their benefit rate.

      Many times, if someone’s check is less than $800, their check amount is the same amount as the family maximum.

      Because your check is $508, technically your child would be able to receive half of that, which would be $254 per month.

      In your case, I would suspect that your family max was $508 and your payment was $508. Essentially, your child is entitled to a payment BUT can not be paid because what you receive already takes up the whole family maximum amount.

      You were not awarded SSI because your income was too high, taking into account your child support payments. When your child turned 18 and you stopped receiving child support money, you then became eligible to receive SSI.

      The reason (that I suspect, again you would have to confirm with someone that actually works for SSA) you didn’t get back-pay for your child is that your $508 payment ate up the entire family maximum. Leaving nothing left over that your child could get off of your record.

      Everything you said, sounds to be correct, I do not think there is anything wrong or anything to fight.

      If you get in touch with Social Security through your local office or their 1-800 number, just ask “When my payment was $508, what was the family maximum on my record”

      If they confirm that the family maximum was also $508, then you know everything I said is correct.



  10. PK G.

    AKA is anonymous tag line for someone ashamed to put their name on their comments. The person appears to be very ignorant about social security, disability and SSI. Hopefully they do not work for SSA.

    • Harry H.

      I’m no Expert but he or she ( AKA) made me mad by being up Clinton etc etc, i hate that when i see it, i normally don’t say a thing In the places like this because you all are right those who work in the GOV should answer all the questions that mater . I make a lot of comments on you tube, i don’t brother much with face book or tweeter .

Comments are closed.