Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

With our lives being so busy, it is easy to fall into that cycle of constantly postponing some tasks because of other things we need to address right away. This may be true for you when it comes to changing your payment method for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, procrastinating on reporting changes can lead to delayed payments, resulting in undue hardship with bills and living expenses. Ultimately, it’s less of a hassle — and less stressful — if you report a direct deposit change as soon as it occurs.

How can you change your direct deposit information with Social Security? The most convenient way is by creating a my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Once you create your account, you can update your bank information without leaving the comfort of your home. Another way to change your direct deposit is by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make the change over the phone. If you prefer to speak to someone in person, you can visit your local Social Security office with the necessary information.

What exactly will Social Security need to make the direct deposit change? Because we are committed to protecting your personal information, we need some form of identification to verify your identity. If you are online, we verified your identity when you initially created your my Social Security account. All you need to do is log in at www.socialsecurity.gov, then sign in with your secure username and password to gain instant access to your information.

If you call Social Security, we will ask identifying questions to ensure we are speaking to the right person. If you visit the office, you will need to bring a driver’s license or some form of ID with you. Once we have confirmed that you are the correct person and are authorized to make changes on the Social Security record, all we need is the routing number, account number and type of account established. We don’t ask for a voided check, nor do we obtain verification from the bank. Therefore, you should be sure you are providing accurate information to us.

The day of the month you report the direct deposit change makes all the difference. Though the exact date varies each month, generally, you will need to report changes by the 15th of the month in order to see the effect on the next check. When the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday, the cutoff is usually the previous business day. For example, if you switched banks or got a new account in September, you will need to provide the new information to Social Security by Sept. 14 in order to receive your next payment in the new account. If you don’t report this change to us until Sept. 28, your next payment will go into the old account.

Because you may be unsure if your direct deposit change will affect your next payment, we highly recommend that you not close the old bank account until you have seen your first Social Security deposit in the new bank account. By doing so, you can feel secure that you will receive your benefits on time, regardless of when the change was reported to Social Security. Waiting until you see the deposit in your new account also gives you the extra peace of mind that we processed the change correctly.

The first step in fighting procrastination is increased awareness. Knowing how easy it is to report a direct deposit change, what information to report and when can encourage you to get in touch with Social Security as soon as possible. Additionally, making sure we know about a change early ensures that we help make the transition as smooth as possible.

When you have to report changes, be sure to contact us or visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Social Security always strives to put you in control by providing the best experience and service, no matter where, when or how you decide to do business with us.

Jane Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.


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