COLA, General, Online Services

Celebrate Earth Day 2024 by Opting Out of Paper Notices

April 22, 2024 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 9, 2024

Earth Day April 22The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, to promote the protection of our planet. At Social Security, we’re doing our part by reducing paper usage.  

We send notices as a way of communicating with our many customers the 71 million Americans who receive benefits and the people who do business with us for other reasons.  

If you have a personal my Social Security account, you can opt out of receiving notices by mail that are available online in the Message Center. These include the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) notice.  

Every year we mail COLA notices throughout December to all our beneficiaries and representative payees. But you don’t have to wait for the COLA notice to arrive in the mail – you can access it online in early December using our secure and convenient Message Center.  

You can choose to receive a text or email alert (or both text and email) when a new notice is waiting. That way, you always know when we have something important for you – like your COLA notice. Other online notices are available, too, including benefit verifications, appointment confirmations, and annual reminders to review your Advance Designation of Representative Payee We continue to make additional notices available online.  

By opting out of paper notices, you’re helping us help the environment by reducing:  

  • The amount of paper, ink, and power used to produce paper notices.  
  • The waste associated with the disposal of paper notices.    

In celebration of Earth Day, consider signing in to your personal account and opting out of mailed notices. Just follow the simple step-by-step instructions or view our video at the bottom of the webpage. If you do not have a personal my Social Security account, we encourage you to open one today. It’s free, easy, secure, and environmentally friendly! 

Please share this information with your family and friends—and post it on social media. 

To find out more how you can protect our planet, visit the official Earth Day website. 

Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


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  1. Nancy Y.

    *NOTICE* if THE OVERPAYMENT allegedly happened in 2020 it should be waived and dismissed. Some all the way up to 2023. So check your notices people. 2020-2023, you qualify to have it waived and removed.

  2. Blanca

    While I am wholeheartedly for doing what I can to help our planet from the damage we cause, I can not stop my important documents being mailed. I cannot afford the cost of printing these at home. Perhaps more should be done to penalize those businesses that send solicitations via mail that are not requested by the recipients.

  3. Michele V.

    There are so many problems with this blog. Most importantly, it never considers what recipients want and need, especially information they may need for about 100 years. Also, it never considers the environmental costs of computers or the costs of cyber security and theft. And it links to an environmental group soliciting financial donations.


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