what if your social security disability check is late

If you count on a monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payment to cover your bills, a delayed payment can be stressful.

This article provides some possible reasons for the delay as well as steps you can take to obtain your payment.

I Was Just Granted SSDI. Why Is My Social Security Check Late?

If your application for SSDI benefits was just approved, the waiting period before benefits start is about five months.

Because the SSA pays SSDI benefits the month after they are due, you should expect your check in the sixth month after the month the SSA deemed you eligible. 

When Should I Normally Expect My Social Security Check to Arrive?

The SSA pays benefits based on your birth date. For 2022, SSA pays:

  • Those born on the 1st to the 10th of the month on the second Wednesday,
  • Recipients born on the 11th to the 20th of the month on the third Wednesday, and 
  • Individuals born on the 21st to the 31st of the month on the fourth Wednesday.

When your payment date falls on a holiday, you will receive payment early. 

Exceptions exist. People who have been receiving Social Security benefits since before May 1997 or who receive both Social Security and Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) are paid Social Security on the 3rd and SSI on the 1st of the month.

I Have Been Receiving SSDI Benefits for Years, So Why Is My Social Security Check Late This Month?

Since 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has required direct deposit of SSDI and other benefits payments.

However, it is possible to apply for a waiver—over 11,000 people in Missouri still receive paper checks. 

Either way, delays can happen. Some common reasons include:

  • You changed your bank and forgot to notify the SSA;
  • You moved and did not update your address with the SSA; or
  • The local SSA field office suffered a delay due to staff, pandemic, or supply chain-related shortages.

With paper checks, delays within the postal system or theft also can be the cause.

If you have received any unusual calls or emails lately regarding your benefits, you may be the victim of one of the many scams affecting recipients. 

My Social Security Check Is Late. What Do I Do Now?

If you believe your payment was stolen, contact your local SSA field office or the main SSA office immediately.

Otherwise, the SSA requests that you wait three mailing days before reaching out to them.

What If My Social Security Check Is Late and the SSA Has Not Solved My Problem? Who Can I Call?

If you have tried calling SSA and still have not received your check, we can help. There may be something else going on that has affected your eligibility.

Wesley Cottrell is an experienced social security disability attorney who has been fighting for clients for 32 years.

He knows the SSA’s procedures and can help you find answers. And because he views communicating with his clients as his top priority, you will never be left wondering where things stand.

Contact the Cottrell Law Office today for a free consultation. 

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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