Social Security payment schedule for 2021

When you receive your benefit payment may depend on your birth date.



Elissa Suh

Elissa Suh

Personal Finance Editor

Elissa Suh is a senior editor of estate planning at Policygenius in New York City. She has researched and written extensively about wills, trusts, and personal finance since 2019, with an eye towards making difficult (and at times gloomy) topics easy to understand for readers. Her articles and data stories has been cited by the likes of MarketWatch, CNBC, PBS, Inverse, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and more.

Updated January 4, 2021|4 min read

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Key Takeaways

  • Social Security provides retirement, disability, and survivors benefits

  • The Social Security payment schedule is based on your birthday — except for SSI, which is paid on the 1st of every month

  • If the 1st is a weekend or holiday, you will receive your SSI payment early

  • You can receive benefits payment through direct deposit or a prepaid card

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits for retired Americans, as well as disabled workers and individuals, spouses of workers, and widows and widowers. If you paid Social Security tax during the course of your life, you will be eligible to apply for Social Security benefits come retirement. The average Social Security benefit for retired individuals was $1,522.70 as of November 2020. Social Security recipients can also receive coronavirus stimulus checks as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements.

If you’re receiving Social Security, you will get your retirement or disability benefits as a lump sum payment each month. The payment dates for Social Security are set by the SSA and may be based on your birthday, depending on the type of benefit you are receiving.

Recipients of retirement benefits, spousal benefits, and disability benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will receive monthly payments based their birthday:

BirthdayPayment date
1st - 10thSecond Wednesday
11th - 20thThird Wednesday
21st - 31stFourth Wednesday

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) follows a different payment schedule — it’s paid on the 1st of each month. We’ll take a detailed look at the different Social Security payment schedules, including the exact payment dates for 2021.

In this article:

Monthly payment dates for Social Security in 2021

You can find a list of the exact payment dates below, based on your birthday.

If your birthday falls between the 1st and 10th:

  • January 13

  • February 10

  • March 10

  • April 14

  • May 12

  • June 9

  • July 14

  • August 11

  • September 8

  • October 13

  • November 10

  • December 8

If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th:

  • January 20

  • February 17

  • March 17

  • April 21

  • May 19

  • June 16

  • July 21

  • August 18

  • September 15

  • October 20

  • November 17

  • December 15

If your birthday falls between the 21st and 31st

  • January 27

  • February 24

  • March 24

  • April 28

  • May 26

  • June 23

  • July 28

  • August 25

  • September 22

  • October 27

  • November 24

  • December 22

Payment dates for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Individuals with a disability who also have limited income and resources can get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Most SSI recipients are also eligible for Medicaid, which provides health insurance for vulnerable, low-income Americans.

SSI benefits are paid on the 1st of every month. If the 1st is a holiday or weekend, you will receive your payment early.

This is the SSI payment schedule for 2021:

  • February 1

  • March 1

  • April 1

  • April 30

  • June 1

  • July 1

  • July 30

  • September 1

  • October 1

  • November 1

  • December 1

  • December 30

Receiving Social Security payments

Social Security benefits are only paid out electronically; you will not receive a Social Security check in the mail. You can either receive a direct deposit into your bank account or opt for a prepaid debit card. When you apply to receive your Social Security benefits, you will have the chance to provide your account number and the routing number of your bank or credit union.

Tax on Social Security benefits

You may have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefit, depending on your income level. If your retirement income is over a certain amount, then part of your Social Security benefits may be taxable.

Single-filers with an income between $25,000 and $34,000 will have to pay income tax on up to 50% of their benefits. If they make more than $34,000, then up to 85% of the benefits may be taxable.

Married individuals who file jointly may have to pay income tax on 50% of the benefits if their income is between $32,000 and $44,000. They will have to pay taxes on up to 85% of the benefit if they make more than $44,000.

Keep this in mind when filing your tax return. You may also be able to withhold your taxes from your Social Security benefits payments, so you aren’t stuck with a large tax bill on Tax Day. Check your SSA account online or visit your local Social Security office for more information.

Coronavirus stimulus checks and Social Security

On April 3, 2020, the federal government began sending eligible Americans stimulus checks as part of a relief package to help workers and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior citizens and retirees who receive Social Security benefits are eligible for coronavirus stimulus checks as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements.

The maximum stimulus payment is $1,200 for eligible adults who file separately and $2,400 for eligible married couples who file jointly. There is also an additional $500 payment per qualifying child.

In December 2020, an additional $600 stimulus check was sent out to every eligible adult and child.

Everyone who has a Social Security number and filed a tax return in the last two years generally qualified for both stimulus checks if their income falls within the government’s limits. Income is based on your 2019 federal tax return.

However, if you receive Social Security benefits and don’t usually need to file a tax return, don’t worry — you don’t have to start now. You should still receive the stimulus payment, if you haven’t already; the government will use the information on file with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to send you your payment. You can expect to receive the stimulus check the same way you get your Social security payment.

Beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can now check the status of their payment on the IRS website.

For more information on how to qualify and how to receive the payment, read our guide to coronavirus stimulus checks.

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