Identification Number:
Intended Audience: All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Online Notices: my Social Security Message Center Customer Preferences Release
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:See reference at the bottom of this EM.
Retention Date: January 29, 2020


This emergency message (EM) provides information on a new Message Center (MC) feature that gives my Social Security customers (the user) the option to stop receiving paper versions of certain online notices. This new feature, “Preferences” will be available starting August 31, 2019.

    A. Expansion of Online Notice Delivery Options

      The expansion of online service options, such as the Preferences feature is an important step towards providing convenient service to the public. Users will receive their notices in a secure and central location and, over time, we expect a reduction in printing and mailing of paper notices.

      The Title II Cost-of-Living Adjustment (T2 COLA) notice has been available online since December 2018. Starting November 2019, the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) Benefit Rate Increase (BRI) notice (for Medicare beneficiaries who pay higher premiums due to income) will also be available to view in MC.

      IMPORTANT: At this time, the user will only be able to opt out of receiving paper T2 COLA and IRMAA BRI notices. Concurrent beneficiaries who receive both the T2 and T16 COLA notices will continue to receive the T16 COLA in the mail.

      The user will continue to receive paper mailings for notices that are not yet available online. In addition, the user will receive both online and paper mailings for notices that may require the user to return information to the agency, e.g., Recovery and Collection of Overpayment (RECOOP) notices.

    B. How to Update Preferences in my Social Security

      Beginning August 31, 2019, users will be prompted to select their notice delivery preference via a “Welcome to Message Center” pop-up screen before entering MC. From the MC tab, the user can:

        · Navigate to the Preferences section;

        · Click on the box, “Update Preferences;”

        · Select notice delivery method (opt out of paper or continue to receive paper mailings);

        · Read and click on the Required Agreement (if opting out of paper); and

        · Select the courtesy notification preference for when a new message or notice is added to his or her MC inbox.

      Unless the user opts out of paper notices, he or she will receive both paper and online notices that are available in MC.

      REMINDER: A user can update his or her preferred notice delivery method and notification preference at any time.
    C. Notice Delivery Options

      This section covers the notice delivery options available to a user.

      1. Do not send me a paper copy

        For notices that are available online, a user will receive notices only through his or her MC and will not get duplicate paper notices in the mail. This option requires the user to read and check a box to indicate that he or she understands and accepts the Authorization to Discontinue Paper Mailings agreement.

        NOTE: If a user receives notices in the large print format and later opts out of paper, he or she will no longer get notices in that format. For notices that are not available online, the user will continue to receive the large print and standard print notice in the mail. For users who have a special notice option (SNO) other than large print, we will continue to provide the users’ selected SNO format, even when they select “Do not send me a paper copy” in Preferences.

    2. Send me a paper copy
        A user will continue to receive paper notices through the mail. However, if a notice is available online, a copy of that notice will also be accessible in the user’s MC.
    D. Notification Preferences
        When a new message or notice is available to view in a user’s MC in box, we will send a courtesy notification (alert) to inform the user. Notification options include:

          · email only;

          · text message only;

          · both email and text message; or
          · none (offered only if the user selects the “Send me a paper copy” notice delivery option).

        For more information about online notice notifications, see NL 01201.001C.
    Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contacts.
    NL 01201.001 Online Notices

    EM-19024 - Online Notices: my Social Security Message Center Customer Preferences Release - 08/29/2019