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Get Ready for the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment

Setting up your online account with the agency is the easiest way to stay informed

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En español |  With the announcement of the 2019 cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits right around the corner, now is the time for recipients to make sure they’re ready to get that news online through their accounts with the agency.

The Social Security Administration will announce the percentage of the 2019 COLA in October. Beginning in December 2018, most Social Security beneficiaries will be able to find out how much money that adjustment will add to their checks via the online message center of their My Social Security account, according to a Social Security Administration spokesperson. The increase will be added to Social Security payments starting in January 2019.

The first step, if you haven’t done so already, is to create a My Social Security account. Go to

Once you have an account, you will be able to see how much you have earned for each year you’ve worked so far.

You also can use the message center of your My Social Security account to let the agency know how you want to receive notifications: by email, text message or both. Or you can request that they don’t send notifications at all.

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Confidential information about COLAs and other benefit amounts are not sent by email or text but are available in your My Social Security account. You’ll receive a notification that says you have a message in your My Social Security account mailbox.

The agency will continue to mail the COLA notices through the U.S. Postal Service, so some Social Security recipients will receive the COLA notice by postal mail and online, the SSA spokesperson said.

So far, about 35 million beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries have set up My Social Security accounts. Americans can set up accounts even if they are not yet receiving benefits. The SSA encourages people to create an online account as soon as possible, in order to prevent scammers from setting up an account using your Social Security number.