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The Social Security Administration Sent You a Letter. Is It in a Safe Place?

Whatever you do, don't lose your 2023 cost-of-living adjustment letter.

Four silver mailboxes in a row
If you haven't received the letter, check in with the Social Security Administration to track it down. 
James Martin/CNET

We've all been there: We receive an important letter in the mail and know that it's essential to keep around, but end up misplacing it anyway. Or worse, we end up mistaking it as junk and accidentally throw it away. This is your reminder to check if the letter you received from the Social Security Administration is still in a safe place. 

Social Security recipients received a letter about their cost-of-living adjustment increase in December. This letter tells you how much that adjustment will impact your benefit amount in 2023, so it's crucial you don't toss it in the trash or accidentally lose it. You may need that letter for a number of reasons, including proof of benefit amount when applying for loans or energy assistance

The Social Security Administration said benefits will increase by 8.7% in 2023, and some people are already seeing that change in their payments. The first of those adjusted payments were sent to beneficiaries in January. 

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 and this cheat sheet for understanding your 2023 benefits.

What if I didn't get my COLA letter?

The Social Security Administration told CNET that it sent out letters in the mail throughout the month of December. That means your notice has probably already arrived.

If you haven't received it yet, contact the Social Security office. Now would be the time to check in with the SSA and track down where that letter is or request another if you lost it.  

Can I just access my new benefits 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 on the letter to arrive.

To learn more about Social Security, here's a 2023 cheat sheet and an explanation for why the COLA is higher in 2023