Q: My wife and I changed our direct deposit information at the same time. Why did one process immediately for the next month and the other take two months?
A: A likely reason is that you each receive Social Security through your individual work records, with payments arriving on different days of the month.
Nearly all changes made to ongoing SSA benefit records appear on internal agency records within a day or two even though you might not immediately see the change.
Direct deposit, the electronic routing of payment to your financial institution, is a good example.
Strict monthly processing timeframes apply when Social Security provides the Treasury Department with new payment address information.
Depending on when Social Security receives your updated direct deposit information, compared to these timeframes and your payment date during the month, your next monthly benefit might go to your new account or the change might not be effective until the following month.
Social Security strongly recommends keeping your old bank account open until benefits are received in the new account.
Have you created your personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount yet?
If yes, and you receive SSA retirement, survivors or disability benefits, you can view and change the direct deposit information on your record, update your address and immediately download an online letter to verify the type or amount of benefits received.
Do all this at your convenience, without contacting a SSA office or calling the national number (1-800-772-1213/TTY 1-800-325-0778).
People receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can obtain the online letter to verify the type or amount of benefits received but cannot change direct deposit or address information.
The processing timeframes mentioned above remain whether you change your direct deposit account information through your my Social Security account or by contacting Social Security.
Again, Social Security strongly recommends keeping your old bank account open until benefits are received in the new account.
Did you know? On a personal note, recently I completed my 40th year of service with the Social Security Administration, and look forward to continuing.
Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his online articles at socialsecurityinfo.areavoices.com.