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What You Need to Know About Two Social Security Checks in December

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What You Need to Know About Two Social Security Checks in December

What You Need to Know About Two Social Security Checks in December. In the spirit of giving during the holiday season, the Social Security Administration will be distributing two checks in December instead of the usual one. However, this double payment is not a gift from Santa Claus; rather, it is part of the regular payment schedule maintained by the agency.

Supplement Security Income (SSI) Benefits

The two checks will be issued to individuals eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The initial SSI check for December will be disbursed on Friday, Dec. 1, with the second one following four weeks later, on Friday, Dec. 29.

Payment Quirk in the Schedule

This peculiar payment schedule results in SSI beneficiaries receiving two payments in the months of March, June, September, and December. Conversely, no payments are made in January, April, July, and October. The additional payment in December is essentially an advance for the subsequent month.

If there are concerns about payment delays, the Social Security Administration recommends allowing three extra mailing days before contacting the agency. For direct deposit recipients, payments are expected on the scheduled date, with fund availability contingent on individual banking processes.

SSI Benefits Overview

SSI benefits are designed for low-income individuals with limited resources who are either blind, aged 65 or older, or possess a qualifying disability. A qualifying disability, in this context, is one that impedes employment and is anticipated to last for at least one year or result in death.

In 2023, the federal maximum SSI benefit rate stands at $914 for an individual and $1,371 for a couple. These amounts are set to increase to $943 and $1,415, respectively, in 2024.

Retirement Benefits Schedule

For retirement benefits, the payment schedule in December 2023 aligns with the pattern observed in other months. Payments are made on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays, based on the recipient’s date of birth. The December payment schedule is as follows:

  • Birthdays from the 1st through the 10th receive payment on the second Wednesday (Dec. 13).
  • Birthdays from the 11th through the 20th receive payment on the third Wednesday (Dec. 20).
  • Birthdays from the 21st through the 31st receive payment on the fourth Wednesday (Dec. 27).

Recipients who began receiving Social Security before May 1997 or receive both Social Security and SSI benefits receive their Social Security payment on Dec. 3.

Changes in Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

December marks the conclusion of Social Security recipients receiving payments with the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 8.7%, the highest in over four decades. Starting in January 2024, checks will reflect a COLA of 3.2%, resulting in an average monthly boost of approximately $57 for retirement checks.

Conclusion

December brings a unique double payment for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, offering financial relief during the festive season. As the year concludes, Social Security beneficiaries will transition to a new cost-of-living adjustment in January 2024, reflecting changing financial dynamics.

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