It would be really nice if we could get our first Social Security benefit check a couple weeks after we applied for it. Unfortunately the timing of your first Social Security benefit is much more complex.
aThe Social Security Administration uses several conventions and rules that delay the receipt of your first payment.
First, using old English common law standards, they consider your birthday to be legally the day before your actual birthday. If you are born October 5, they would consider your legal birthday to be October 4. I know, strange.
Second, you are required to be your claiming age for an entire month before you are eligible for payment. So unless your birthday is on the 1st or 2nd of the month, you would need to wait for the subsequent month to qualify.
Third, your eligible payment is paid in the month following the month you are eligible.
When you put it all together it looks like this:
Bob was born July 3, 1943. He wants to claim his age 66 Full Retirement benefit. He will actually get his first Social Security benefit payment in September. Here’s how this is calculated…
- The Social Security Administration considers his legal birthday to be July 2.
- Since his birthday is July 2, he isn’t considered to be age 66 until the first FULL month in August.
- Since he is eligible in August, his first payment will be in the subsequent month of September.
Now you know why it’s recommended that you apply for benefits three months before you want them!
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me