Changing Direct Deposit

Q: How long will it take Social Security to change my direct deposit account?

A: This depends on computer processing dates during the month, your payment date and when you contact Social Security to report the change. Direct deposit is the term for electronically sending your benefit payment directly to your financial institution.

Benefits should be received in your new account by the second payment after you provide your new account information to Social Security but your record might be updated as quickly as your next payment.

Keep in mind that Social Security payment dates are on different dates of the month. Since 1997, retirement benefits are paid on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of a month based on birth date.

For example, a change made at the beginning of a month might be in place with your next payment if your benefit is due at the end of a month but take until the second payment if you receive benefits earlier in the month.

IMPORTANT: Do not close your old bank account until benefits are received in the new one.

You are sent a letter confirming the change in your direct deposit. If you receive a letter like this without reporting a change, you might be a victim of ID theft. Contact Social Security immediately to have your record reviewed and corrected.

An easy way to change your direct deposit for Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits is through your online, pin and password secured, personal my Social Security account. Other services through my Social Security include requesting a letter to verify your type or amount of benefits, replacing your Medicare card, and updating your mailing address.

You can also update your record by calling the Social Security national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or by contacting your local office. For either of these, expect to be asked several questions to confirm your identity.