In the past, all Social Security checks arrived on the same day of every month. However, the pay schedule for Social Security has changed tremendously over the years. Now, they can arrive on one of four different days every month, depending on certain things. People now receive their check on the third day of every month, and also on the second, third, and fourth Wednesday of every month, depending on what Social Security benefit they claim, when they started claiming, and the date of their birth.

The 2017 Pay Schedule for Social Security:

While there are a number of key exceptions, the pay schedule for Social Security is now based on the date of birth of the number holder. The number holder is yourself if you receive benefits through your own work, or someone else if you receive benefits through someone else's work. This happens, for instance, with survivor benefits. The Social Security notices that you receive in relation to your benefits will have the Social Security Number of the number holder on the writing, which may not be yours. This number is also the numerical reference to the Claim Number.

If you are in receipt of Social Security disability or retirement through your own work, the date you will be paid will depend on the day on which you were born. If the Social Security benefits are received by your child or spouse, they will also receive those benefits based on your date of birth. A couple, therefore, could receive their Social Security benefits on different days, particularly if they both receive retirement benefits.

If the number holder was born between the first and 10th of a month, then the benefits will be paid monthly, on the second Wednesday of the month. The third Wednesday is the payment date for those born between the 11th and the 20th. Finally, those born between the 21st and the 31st will receive their benefits on the fourth Wednesday.

Up to 1997, people would receive their Social Security payments on the third of each month. However, this caused the workloads at the Social Security Administration, post offices, and financial institutions to be uneven, with a huge, unmanageable surge happening every third day of the month. Hence, it was decided to change those dates. However, those who started receiving their benefits before 1997 will still receive their money on the third of each month, unless they have asked to move on to the other system.

A final thing to note is that routine Social Security benefits, including retirement, survivor, and disability benefits, are paid in the month after their claim. This means that the payment received in April is actually reflective of the month of March. The exception is SSI (Supplemental Security Income), which is a routine payment, which is paid in the month for which it is received.

The Social Security Administration has made an easy to use and downloadable calendar available on their website. This can serve as a handy reminder for those who are in receipt of those types of payment.