December Jackpot: Why Social Security Checks Are Doubling Up This Holiday Season!

december social security checks

Social Security recipients are in for a delightful surprise this December, as the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that beneficiaries will receive two checks instead of the usual one. This exceptional occurrence is a result of a unique payment schedule quirk that aligns with the year-end festivities.

Why Two Checks in December?

The SSA typically disburses benefit payments on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays of each month. However, in December, the fourth Wednesday coincides with Christmas Day. To ensure recipients receive their funds before the holidays, the SSA advances the payment date to December 29th.

Who Will Receive Two Checks?

All Social Security recipients, including retirees, survivors, and disabled workers, are eligible to receive two checks in December. This one-time event brings a welcome financial boost to beneficiaries across the board.

When Will the Checks Be Paid?

The first check will be distributed on the recipient’s regular payment date in December, while the second check will be issued on December 29th. Recipients with direct deposit will have their funds automatically deposited, while those receiving paper checks can anticipate their checks in the mail, allowing an additional three days for delivery.

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How Much Will the Checks Be For?

The amount of each check will vary based on the recipient’s benefit amount. However, all beneficiaries will benefit from an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in December. This translates to an average increase of $145 per month for retirees, bringing the average retirement benefit from $1,682 to $1,827.

What Should Recipients Do?

Recipients need not take any action to receive their two payments; the SSA will seamlessly issue the funds to eligible beneficiaries. It’s essential for recipients to be aware of the special December payment schedule and plan accordingly.

Extra Check Utilization:

Recipients may be wondering how best to utilize the extra check. Options include:

  1. Saving or Investing: Consider putting the additional funds into savings or investments to secure financial stability.
  2. Debt Repayment: Use the extra check to pay off outstanding debts and alleviate financial burdens.
  3. Leisure or Travel: Consider taking a well-deserved vacation or treating oneself to a special experience.
  4. Major Purchases: Explore making significant purchases that may enhance quality of life.

Recipients should evaluate their individual financial situations and choose the option that aligns with their needs and goals.

Additional Information:

  1. COLA Basis: The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
  2. January 2024 COLA Issuance: The SSA will issue the COLA in January 2024, applying to all Social Security benefits, including retirement, survivor, and disability benefits.
  3. Average 2023 Benefit: The average Social Security retirement benefit in 2023 is $1,814, with the 8.7% COLA bringing it to $1,973.
  4. Payment Resumption in January 2024: Recipients should be aware that the regular payment schedule will resume in January 2024.


Social Security beneficiaries can look forward to a double payout in December 2023, a welcome windfall during the holiday season. The unique two-check occurrence is a result of the SSA’s commitment to ensuring recipients receive their benefits in a timely manner. Whether it’s saving, paying off debt, or enjoying a well-deserved break, recipients have the flexibility to make the most of this rare financial boost.

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