Received Your Social Security COLA Letter in the Mail? Don’t Lose It

Social Security beneficiaries should keep their eye out for a certain letter coming in the mail this month.

The Social Security Administration is sending out letters throughout December with information on beneficiaries’ cost of living adjustment coming in January. Don’t throw out the letter and don’t lose it. You may need it for a number of reasons, including proof of benefit amount when applying for loans or energy assistance. So keep that letter in a safe place.

The letter notifies beneficiaries of their new 2023 benefit amount, according to the SSA, which will increase by 8.7% in January. Those who receive Supplemental Security Income will get their first COLA payment in December. About 65 million Americans will see this check increase in 2023, the SSA said.

If your COLA payment is more or less than you expected, you can make an appeal to the Social Security Administration and your COLA letter or COLA e-letter will act as a sort of proof of payment. For more details about your Social Security benefits, check out when you can expect your Social Security check to arrive in December and this cheat sheet for understanding your benefits.

When will I receive my COLA letter?

The Social Security Administration told CNET that it’s sending out letters in the mail throughout the month of December. That means your notice could already be on the way or may have already arrived. We recommend checking your mailbox daily until it arrives.

If you haven’t received it yet, don’t contact the Social Security office. The SSA recommends you wait until January before contacting it about the notice.

Can I just access my new benefit amount online?

It depends. If you already had an online my Social Security account by Nov. 15, you should be able to access your statement in the Messages Center. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for the letter to arrive.

To learn more about Social Security, here’s a 2022 cheat sheet, when you can expect your COLA check to arrive and an explanation for why the COLA is higher in 2023.

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