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Social Security payments are always paid in arrears. If you received a check in September, the payment was for the month of August.

When you talked with the Social Security representative over the phone, you must have indicated that you wanted your benefits to start in August.

I recall my phone conversation with a Social Security representative after I filed my claim 90-days before I wanted to start receiving my benefits. I had a heck of a time convincing her that I really wanted my benefit to start in February 2013. She kept trying to sell me on the idea of setting the start date of my benefit 6 months earlier and then having it start immediately.

I was going to retire and receive my final check from my employer in January 2013. In addition to my normal pay that check included payments for banked vacation and holidays that I couldn't take due to work requirements. So I didn't have any need to receive a Social Security benefit check in February.

In addition, I celebrated my 68th birthday on 15 January 2013. It didn't make sense to me why I should want to reduce my monthly benefit by having my benefits start before February.
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