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Actual or Constructive Payment of Wages

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

1302. Actual or Constructive Payment of Wages

1302.1 When are wages considered "paid"?

Your wages are generally considered paid when they are "actually" or "constructively" paid.

1302.2 What does "actually paid" mean?

Actual payment occurs when you are actually paid in the form of cash, check, bank deposit, or similar form other than cash.

1302.3 What does "constructively paid" mean?

Your wages are constructively paid when:

  1. They have been credited or set aside for you, and you can get them at any time. It does not matter when or how you receive payment, just that you have access to your wages when you want them; or

  2. Your employer intends to pay, set apart, or credit the wages and is able to pay you when due, but fails to do so because of a clerical error or mistake in the mechanics of payment.

Last Revised: March, 2001


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