How can you check your COLA notice online and when will I see the increase in my Social Security checks?
Most Social Security beneficiaries anxious to see how much the 2023 COLA increase on their benefits is, will be able to look for the notice online.
The Social Security Administration announces annually its cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to benefits so that they keep pace with inflation. With prices rising at a clip not seen in four decades many beneficiaries will be anxious to see what the boost to their monthly checks will be in 2023.
While the agency mails out letters throughout the month of December, but they request not to contact them until January, the first month when beneficiaries will see payments with the higher amount, as the notice could take time to reach you. However, you may not need to wait for the mail to know how much your payments will increase based on the 2023 COLA.
Most beneficiaries can access the notice online through the Message Center when they log into their personal account in the “my Social Security” app. You can even sign up so that you’ll receive a notification via text or email of when the information is available for you online.
How to set up your “my Social Security” account
Before you get started you will want to have a few things ready so that you can provide the necessary information or documents when prompted by the “my Social Security” sign-up process. If you want extra security for logging on in the future, you can use two-factor authentication, where you receive a security code by text or via phone call.
If you don’t already have the app on your smartphone, you will want to download one to your phone before you get started with the email you will use for your account. You may also want to create a strong password before you get started, it should be at least 12 characters including numbers and symbols.
You will want your driver’s license or another form of state-issued ID on hand and your smartphone to take a picture of the document when prompted. For those who wish to add even more security, you can use the last eight digits from your credit card or other financial information such as a tax document.
If you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report, you can still use the online process but first you will need to request a temporarily lift of your security freeze or fraud alert. You can contact the Social Security Identity Services Provider to have them do this.
Steps for setting up your account
Once your ready, visit the “my Social Security” sign-up page and click on “Create New Account.”
Click the “Create a new account” link. If you have an ID.me you can use this one, or you can create your new account using “Login.gov”. Login.gov is a secure government portal that lets you use one set of credentials to access multiple participating federal agencies.
Near the bottom of the page on the next screen click on “Create an account”. You will be prompted to enter your email, choose a language preference, confirm your email, and create a strong password over a series of new screens.
You’ll now be asked how you want the “my Social Security” online portal to verify that it’s you when you use the account. Here you can choose to use two-factor authentication which is recommended given the sensitivity of the information.
Next, read and accept the terms of service account. Afterwards, you’ll be asked to enter your personal information which the SSA can use to identify you, including your name (as it appears on your Social Security card), address, date of birth and Social Security number.
Now, if you wish you can add extra security using financial information before mentioned.
Finally, you’ll be asked to confirm your email address or phone number. You’ll receive a one-time security code which you will need to enter within 10 minutes of receiving it. Now you’re ready to use your account.
What services are available through “my Social Security”?
The Social Security online service is available to those receiving benefits as well as those contributing to the program. For those who don’t want to worry about checking their mailbox for their annual Social Security Statement or other notices available online, you can opt out of those mailings through your “my Social Security” account.
In most states, the “my Social Security” service allows you to request a new Social Security card, that is if you don’t need to make any changes to the information on the card, specifically your name. That needs to be done in person at a Social Security office. For beneficiaries of Medicare, you can also request a new card through the online portal.
Importantly for those who are not yet receiving benefits, you can check how much you’ve put into your account toward future benefits. The online service provides a tool that you can use to estimate what your future benefits will be based on contributions made to date, depending on when you retire.
You can also check what Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you are eligible for should you be forced to stop working due to a medical condition or injury. As well, in the event of your death, the estimated survivor benefits your spouse and children would be eligible for.
Additionally, if you have applied to begin receiving benefits, to check your application status.
Those who are already receiving benefits who haven’t yet signed up for direct deposit can do so through the online portal. Those already signed up for direct deposit can change the account that your benefits are sent to, as well as update your address and other contact information. If you’ve lost documents for filing income taxes, or need a benefit verification letter, you can access these through the online portal to print them.