Fight Procrastination by Changing Your Direct Deposit Early

September 6, 2018 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

September 6 is National Fight Procrastination Day. With our busy lives, it is easy to fall into that cycle of constantly postponing some tasks because of other things we need to address right now. This may be true for you when it comes to changing your payment method for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, procrastinating on reporting changes can lead to delayed payments, resulting in undue hardship with bills and living expenses. Ultimately, it’s less hassle — and less stressful — if you report a direct deposit change as soon as it occurs. 

How can you change your direct deposit information with Social Security? The most convenient way is by creating a personal my Social Security account. Once you create your account, you can update your bank information without leaving the comfort of your home. Another way to change your direct deposit is by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make the change over the phone. If you prefer to speak to someone in-person, you can visit your local Social Security office with the necessary information.

What exactly will Social Security need to make the direct deposit change? Because we are committed to protecting your personal information, we need some form of identification to verify who you are. If you are online, we verified your identity when you initially created your personal my Social Security account. All you need to do is log in with your secure username and password to gain instant access to your information.

If you call Social Security, we will ask identifying questions to ensure we are speaking to the right person. If you visit the office, you will need to bring a driver’s license or some form of ID with you. Once we have identified you are the correct person and are authorized to make changes on the Social Security record, all we need is the routing number, account number, and type of account established. We don’t ask for a voided check, nor do we obtain verification from the bank. Therefore, you should be sure you are providing accurate information to us.

The day of the month you report the direct deposit change makes all the difference. Though the exact date varies each month, generally, you will need to report changes by the 15th to see the effect on the next check. When the 15th falls on the weekend or a holiday, the cutoff is usually the previous business day. For example, if you switched banks or have a new account in September, you will need to provide the new information to Social Security by September 14 to receive your next payment in the new account. If you don’t report this change to us until September 28, your next payment will go into the old account.

Because you may be unsure if your direct deposit change will affect your next payment, we highly recommend that you do not close the old bank account until you have seen your first Social Security deposit in the new bank account. That way, you can feel secure you will receive your benefits on time, regardless of when the change was reported to Social Security. Waiting until you see the deposit in your new account also gives you the extra peace of mind that we processed the change correctly.

The first step in fighting procrastination is increased awareness. Knowing how easy it is to report a direct deposit change, what information to report, and when, can encourage you to get in touch with Social Security at the earliest possible moment. In addition, making sure we know about a change early ensures we help make the transition as smooth as possible.

When you have to report changes, be sure to contact us or visit us online. Social Security always strives to put you in control by providing the best experience and service no matter where, when, or how you decide to do business with us.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Georgia L.

    Why do I have to change my direct deposit deposit account, if I do, that will reflex on all of my bills, what is going on that I need to change my bank account, you’re asking for something that’s not easy to do. I would like to know, why this change has to take place?


    Georgia L Winston?️

    • Ray F.

      Hello Georgia. You do not need to make any changes. We’re only providing general information on how Social Security beneficiaries, can sign up to receive their payments electronically, via direct deposit. Thanks!

  2. Stanley H.

    Why would I want to change my direct deposit from my present system? You did not enumerate in any way, so I don’t know whether there is something I need to do soon because of a change at Social Security, or if this is just an announcement that if I have done something like change banks, I need to get with it to change my direct deposit to the new bank (If that’s the kind of thing you had on your mind with this alert).

    • Tom

      This is announced because the agency has a sizeable problem with clients changing information at the last minute. If done this way, it will not make the change in time for your next payment, but the one after that. If you have closed the old bank account, your payment will be delayed as a result. Never volunteer to close the old account until you know which payment is going to the new one.

      You need to apply the 60 million rule. You are one of nearly 60 million agency customers. Treasury has to issue those millions of payments every month. There is a cutoff date when they say no more changes are allowed to the next check. That date is 10-14 days before the next payment is due. This date is early because there are people who still insist on paper payments, which is both costly to the taxpayer and drains limited agency resources when a paper check fails to arrive. Less government means adapting to the modern world and not creating exceptions for oneself because it all comes out of the limited budget SSA is stuck with to help everyone, not just you.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Stanley, we’re only providing general information on how Social Security beneficiaries, can sign up to receive their payments electronically, via direct deposit. Thanks!

  3. Charles E.

    My application for a account failed because the system would not accept my password. Can you help me fix this?

    • John J.

      Try a different password.

    • LILLIE V.

      While checking my bank statement, I noticed my social security payment was not posted in my online account for Sept. Last month’s payment posted on 8/8/2018. I called social security office and was put on hold for over 55min. with no response. Please look into this situation.

      • Ray F.

        Hello Lillie, if you applied for Social Security benefits after April 30, 1997, your payment date is determined by the date of birth of the person on whose record you receive benefits. Generally, Social Security benefits are paid the third day of the month, the second, third or fourth Wednesday of the month.
        See our Frequently Asked Questions web page on payments for more information. Thanks!

  4. Thomas T.

    I don’t wish to make any changes to my direct deposit at this time I like it as is.

  5. C. R.

    Excellently written. Thanks.

    • Ray F.

      We appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for your comment!

  6. John K.

    I have signed up for SS benifts becuase I turn 70 this year.

    When will I receive my first check?

    Can my wife, age 64, apply for spousal benefits on my SS?

    And switch to her own SS (higher than mine) when she turns 70?

    Thank you.

    • Senior S.

      OK, all depends, yes and yes.

    • Ray F.

      Hello John. Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of October, you will receive your first benefit payment in November.
      Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information.
      If your spouse qualifies on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. See Benefits For Your Family for more on this topic. Thanks!

    • O D.

      john this is how it works, the only way your wife can file for spousal only she has to be born before january 2 1954 and she can’t file until she reach full retire age which is 66 for anyone born between 1943 and 1954 if she file before she reach full retirement age she has to deem file which mean she has to file for both her own and spousal now if she wait until her full retire age which is 66 then she can restrict her application to spousal only and she will receive half of what you would have received at 66 not what you are receiving at 70

  7. Gennady

    I have ms disability wife divorce social security no believe my Paiment 433 dollar Kong’s hard to live bad balanse I olmost no walking excuzmi please?

  8. Lesly F.

    On March 13,2018 i will be 65 years old i apploy for benefits many time because of my health conditions is denied.but i’m wondering what next for in my elderly Ages mr jim

    • Hope.Faith.Mercy.Grace

      You can apply for Early Retirement at age 62 Your monthly benefits will be reduced for the rest of your life. You must have at least 40 work credits. You can sign up for Medicare at age 65. The link below has more information.

  9. Brice D.

    Can I change the DATE of the deposit? – leaving the bank information the same? I would like it to come earlier in the month.

    • Ray F.

    • AKA


      • CHRIS Y.

        not nice AKA but you rarely are

    • Viv

      No, it seems you can NOT! I tried online, as directed… no go. We had to close our bank account due to a phishing scheme. We now must go 2 months without my or my husband’s checks.

    • Kimmey w.

      How can you report a bank for fraud ? For placing uncessary block on your account and no one is answering phones or emails

  10. Peter S.

    The National Fight Procrastination Day, on September 6th, is a funny holiday!
    We need it not just once per year, but at least once per month :))

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