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If I claim Social Security benefits at full retirement age, when will I get my first payment?

En español | Once you have applied, it could take up to three months to receive your first benefit payment. Social Security benefits are paid monthly, starting in the month after the birthday at which you attain full retirement age (which is currently 66 and will gradually rise to 67 over the next several years)..

Generally, the day of the month you receive your benefit depends on your birthday, or that of the person on whose record you're collecting benefits:

  • If the birthday is between the 1st and the 10th of the month, you will receive your first payment on the second Wednesday of the month after that birthday.
  • If the birthday is between the 11th and the 20th, you will receive your payment on the third Wednesday of the following month.
  • If the birthday is between the 21st and the end of the month, you will receive your payment on the fourth Wednesday of the following month.

Keep in mind

  • Social Security does not make partial-month payments. Indivduals first become eligible to receive a benefit during the month after the month of their 62nd birthday. So, someone born in May becomes eligible in June. Social Security pays individuals a month behind, so that person will receive the June benefit in July.
  • If you would like to receive your first payment in the first month you are eligible, you will need to apply three months before your birthday.

Reviewed February 20, 2020

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