Online Cost-of-Living Adjustment Notices with a my
Social Security account
Social Security is constantly expanding our online services to give you and your clients freedom and control
when doing business with us. Our latest online service offering, the online cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)
notice, is another example of our commitment.
As part of our IT Modernization efforts, we will make the Social Security COLA notices available online in
December 2018 to certain beneficiaries with a my
Social Security account. Online notices will not be available to representative
payees, individuals with foreign mailing addresses, or those who pay higher Medicare premiums due to income.
Next year, we will focus on making COLA notices available online to additional customers.
This year, individuals will still receive COLA notices by mail. In the future, they will be able to choose
whether they receive their notice online instead of on paper.
Messages about the Social Security COLA notice will be sent to the beneficiary’s my
Social Security Message Center Inbox in early December 2018. They will contain a
link to a 508-compliant PDF of the COLA notice.
Remember, our services are always free of charge. No government agency or reputable company will solicit your
personal information by email or request advanced fees for services in the form of wire transfers or gift
cards. Avoid falling victim to fraudulent internet “phishing” schemes by not revealing personal information,
selecting malicious links, or opening malicious attachments. You can learn more about the ways we protect
your investment, personal information, and my
Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/security.html.
You and your clients can open a my
Social Security account today or log in to your my
Social Security account and choose your preferred way to receive courtesy notifications
Social Security Publications: A Wealth of Information
Do you remember the last time you stepped into a library? No matter when the last time was, that feeling you
get when presented with so much potential information leaves an impression. Although accessing information
online isn’t as physical as standing in front of a bookshelf, Social Security gives you and your clients
the same access to potential information.
We have more than 100 publications about retirement, disability, wounded warriors, online services, and more.
You can click, save, and share “bookshelves” full of information created by our program experts at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
Let your clients know that they can find nearly every answer they may need in our online publications.
Back to School… Back to Your Future
Many of your clients have children or teens going back to school or even to college. We care greatly about
the next generation as we pass our resources on to them. There’s no better time to share our educator’s toolkit
with people who educate students about retirement and saving for their future.
On our Educators webpage, you and your clients can find a toolkit of information and resources designed to
develop engaging and informative lessons on Social Security and the importance of planning for the future.
It includes lesson plans, infographics, talking points, quiz questions and answers, and links to other resources
with additional information.
Encourage your clients to check out the resources we have at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/educators.html.
National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Although this is a special time to acknowledge children
who are suffering from these diseases, Social Security helps children all year long through our Compassionate
Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition,
meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers,
adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.
The Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets
Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. By incorporating cutting-edge technology, the agency
can identify people who may qualify for Compassionate Allowances to quickly make decisions on their cases.
The Social Security Administration uses the same rules to evaluate Compassionate Allowance conditions when
evaluating both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
You and your clients can read the entire Compassionate Allowances list as well as get more information at
Understanding Survivors Benefits
As your clients age, they will likely be interested in how the death of a spouse affects their benefits. The loss of a family wage earner can be devastating both emotionally and financially. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die.
How much a family can get from Social Security depends on the worker’s average lifetime earnings. The more the worker earned, the more their family’s benefits will be.
Encourage your clients to apply for survivors benefits promptly because, for some claims, we’ll pay benefits from the time of application, not from the time the worker died. You and your clients can read more about survivors benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf.
Social Security’s National Disability Forum
Social Security will hold a National Disability Forum on October 30, 2018, at the Partnership for Public Service* in Washington, D.C. The topic will be “Advance Designation of Representative Payees.”
The morning session of the forum will have panelists discussing how advance designation can improve future financial management. The afternoon session will feature panelists sharing how to leverage advance designation to improve the Representative Payee selection process.
You and your clients can check for additional information on the forum as it becomes available at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/whatsnew.html .
*Updated on 10/18/2018 to reflect a change in venue.