Ask Larry: Will My Social Security Check Now Come At The End Of The Month?

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Today’s Social Security column addresses questions about whether Social Security is changing when people will receive their benefit payments, moving a childhood disability benefit from one parent’s record to another and when the earnings test ends for survivor’s benefits. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc.

See more Ask Larry answers here.

Have Social Security questions of your own you’d like answered? Ask Larry about Social Security here.


Will My Social Security Check Now Come At The End Of The Month?

Hi Larry, I’ve always received my benefit on the 3rd day of the month. With the new payment schedule for 2022 based on my birthdate on the 23rd, will I now receive mine at month end? Thanks, Patrick

Hi Patrick, Yours is one of several questions we’ve received recently asking more or less the same thing. I can only guess that Social Security has apparently sent out some mass mailing that’s being misinterpreted by some recipients.

Most people do receive their benefit payments on either the 2nd, 3rd, of 4th Wednesday of the month, but some people meet an exception to that rule that causes them to be paid on the 3rd day of the month.

In any case, the law regarding Social Security payment dates has not changed. So unless Social Security has been paying you on the wrong day of the month and is now making a correction, I don’t know of any reason why your payment date would change. Best, Larry


If My Child Already Receives Benefits As A Disabled Child, Will I Have To File For His Benefit To Be Recalculated When I Apply For My Benefits?

Hi Larry, If my disabled child already receives his childhood disability benefit based on my spouse’s Social Security records, when I retire will I have to file for his benefit to be recalculated based on my record or will I have the option of not allowing him to receive the higher benefit amount if that would not be good for his SSI benefits? Thanks, Paul

Hi Paul, Yes. a new application would be required in order to entitle your disabled child to benefits on your account. However, if your child is already drawing his childhood disability benefit (CDB), formerly called a disabled adult child (DAC) benefit, on the record of another parent, then a new medical determination is normally not required.

One of the requirements for a person to be paid Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is that the person must file for any other benefits for which they are eligible. SSI is needs based and is intended as a last resort source of support.

Therefore, if your child’s CDB rate on your account will be higher than the CDB rate he currently receives, then he’ll have to apply for the higher CDB benefit or else his SSI payments will be suspended. Best, Larry


Which FRA Is Used For The Earnings Test When The FRA For Survivor Benefits Is Different From The FRA For Retirement Benefits?

Hi Larry, I am currently receiving my own reduced retirement benefit. My FRA is 66 and 2 months. I turn 66 next month and plan to switch to my survivor benefit, but my FRA for that benefit is 66. When I called to schedule the appt, the agent said I would be subject to the earnings test for the 2 months after I turn 66.

I assumed that since FRA for the benefit I’m switching to is 66, that would be when the earnings test would go away. The agent gave me other incorrect info, so now I’m wondering. Which is the correct FRA used for the earnings test when the two FRAs are different? Thanks, Marybeth

Hi Marybeth, For Social Security earnings test purposes, a person’s full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security retirement benefits is controlling even if the person is filing for widow’s benefits and a different FRA applies to their widow’s benefits.

So it sounds like what you were told by the Social Security representative was correct, although I’d need more details to know how that might affect you. may want to consider using my company’s software — Maximize My Social Security or MaxiFi Planner — to ensure your household receives the highest lifetime benefits. Social Security calculators provided by other companies or non-profits may provide proper suggestions if they were built with extreme care. Best, Larry


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