Once you apply for social security benefits, you are likely interested in the process involved in receiving your benefits. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at when you can expect your benefits to arrive as well as how they are issued.
How Are Benefits Sent?
After you have been approved for benefits, the administration will begin to issue your benefits payment either by check or through direct deposit. If you elect to receive your benefits by check after you apply for social security, you may instruct the administration to send your benefits payment to your home, a post office box, or alternatively, you may have them mailed to your local bank branch for deposit into your account. If you elect to include a “care of” indication on your mailing address, you will need to provide a written request and explanation of this to the administration as well to protect you from benefits fraud. In the even that you do not have a permanent mailing address, your local district office may permit you to elect for your benefits checks to be sent to them, however, it should be noted that this is at their discretion and you will not be permitted to do so if the reason behind your request is fear of mail theft due to an insecure mailbox.
When Does the First Payment Arrive?
After you apply for social security benefits and are approved, you should receive your first benefits issuance within about one month. Obviously, there are various factors which can delay payment such as lack of required documentation within your claim file, however, this is the average processing time for the first check.
It is important to understand that the administration does not send payments until the benefits are considered “due” according to their guidelines. For example, if you apply for social security retirement benefits early (ie. ahead of your qualified retirement age) you will not receive your first benefits payment until you meet the requirements. In the event that you apply for social security benefits after you are qualified as entitled to them, your first payment may include retroactive benefits going back to the date at which you were first eligible.