Can I Keep This Benefit Payment?

August 17, 2017 • By

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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


  1. Victor C.

    Making ends meet is difficult with the ever rising cost of food. I want to know simply how much I am allowed to earn to supplement my SSA benefits if I become self employed and the earning are in another country, specifically Canada

  2. Albert O.

    I’m 48 yrs old and I wanted to know more information about school. Will it affect my benefits to full time for online schooling? Can I go to school full time with online school?

  3. Loretta J.

    I’m 67 years old, I want to go back to work. I’m currently receiving Social Security. Will I be able to keep my SS and my check?

  4. Erma C.

    Can I receive disability if I’m already getting my 62 age benefit. I’m retiring on disability.

  5. MaryJane H.

    I am 73 and recently got married, how does that affect my payments?

    • Ray F.

      Good question MaryJane. For a person receiving Social Security disability retirement benefits, marriage does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For a person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married may affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to him or her and the spouse.
      See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information.
      To report this change to Social Security, contact your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  6. Randy W.

    my mother passed away April 1st her check was deposited on the 3nd do I kept it if not how do I return it

  7. JUSTIN W.

    Ok awesome Justin Wayne Andersen thanks you personally…

  8. Charles S.

    If I start drawing SS at age 62 will my benefits increase when I reach FRA at 66 years?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Charles! 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 April we celebrate “National Social Security Month”, please visit our Retirement Planner for more information on what you can do online at For example, you can use our Retirement Estimator to get future estimates of your monthly Social Security benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
      We hope this information helps.

  9. Wilma M.

    Why didn’t I receive a SSA-1099 for my deceased father Gerrit J Van Der Streek who passed away November 14, 2017?


  10. Larry W.

    What is an “acting” commissioner or deputy commissioner as opposed to a commissioner?

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