How to Recover a Lost or Stolen Social Security Check

By Jonathan Peterson

Copyright © 2015 AARP

Recovering a lost or stolen Social Security check is becoming a problem of the past as the SSA shifts existing beneficiaries over to direct deposit of benefits. (If you apply for benefits nowadays, you’re only given two choices: direct deposit or a special debit card.) Electronic payments are supposed to be safer and more reliable than paper checks. But currently, some beneficiaries still rely on getting a check in the mail. If that check doesn’t arrive on time, you’ve got a problem.

No matter how you’re paid, it’s worth knowing when the benefit is supposed to arrive:

  • If your birthday is on the first through the tenth of the month, your benefits are paid on the second Wednesday of each month.

  • If your birthday is on the 11th through the 20th of the month, your benefits are paid on the third Wednesday of each month.

  • If your birthday is on the 21st through the 31st of the month, your benefits are paid on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

The SSA requests that you wait three days past the payment date before reporting that a check or electronic payment is missing. If the benefit still hasn’t arrived three days after the payment date, call the SSA at 800‐772‐1213 (TTY 800‐325‐0778).

Check here for more information on direct deposit of Social Security benefits.