If you set benefits to begin at full retirement age (FRA) — 66 and 2 months for people born in 1955, 66 and 4 months for people born in 1956, and gradually rising to 67 over the next several years — your first payment generally will arrive in the month after you attain that age. That’s because Social Security pays benefits a month behind, so your benefit for, say, June 2022 will arrive in July.
Your birthday generally determines your monthly payment schedule:
- If the birthday is between the first and the 10th day of the month, the benefit payment arrives on the second Wednesday of each month.
- If the birthday is between the 11th and the 20th, the payment comes on the third Wednesday of the month.
- If the birthday is between the 21st and the end of the month, the payment arrives on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
So, if you reach full retirement age on June 15 and start benefits then, you’ll get your first Social Security payment on the third Wednesday of July.
There's an exception if you were born on the first day of the month. In this case, Social Security considers you to have attained full retirement age on the last day of the month preceding the milestone date. For example, if you were born July 1, 1956, you attain full retirement age on Oct. 31, 2022, and you would receive your first payment in November 2022.
Keep in mind
Updated December 23, 2021
Find the answers to the most common Social Security questions such as when to claim, how to maximize your retirement benefits and more.