Fact check: False claim that seniors can get a $1,728 lump sum from Social Security or Medicare

·4 min read

The claim: People born before 1957 are getting a $1,728 bonus to their Social Security or Medicare checks

A Facebook video advertisement with 1.5 million views is misleading seniors about Social Security and Medicare benefits, claiming people 65 years of age or older can register online for a lump sum bonus.

In the video, a young woman and two older people jump up and cheer after reading something on a computer screen.

"Last Day to Register: People Born Before 1957 Are Getting $1728 Boost To Their Social Security Checks If They Register Below," the caption in the June 15 Facebook post reads. "Doesn't hurt to check."

The advertisement links users to a non-government webpage that calls the purported $1,728 bonus a Medicare "giveback" benefit, contradicting the Facebook post's claim that it comes from Social Security.

Neither Social Security nor Medicare are offering these bonuses. The Social Security Administration does not list any program or benefit of $1,728 or a similar amount, and a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told USA TODAY that "CMS is making no such payments."

The clip used in the ad comes from a TikTok video about a woman who passed the Florida bar exam, as Lead Stories reported.

USA TODAY reached out to Save More, the Facebook page that posted the advertisement, for comment.

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No evidence Social Security is providing $1,728 "boost"

The Social Security Administration's webpage informing citizens of benefits they may be owed does not include any mention of a fixed sum of $1,728. Neither the Social Security website nor any credible news articles mention a recent boost to retirement payments.

In general, Social Security does not send uniform lump sum payments to all recipients. Instead, it scales benefits based on a recipient's lifetime income tax contributions and their needs. This is the case for the annual cost-of-living adjustment, which increases all Social Security retirement checks by a certain rate to account for inflation and other costs.

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One exception is a "death payment" that is paid to the surviving spouse or child of a deceased person in some cases, but this is currently $255, far less than the amount cited in the Facebook post.

"If people have questions about the validity of any of the programs administered by Social Security, we encourage them to visit our website for the most accurate and up-to-date information available," Darren Lutz, a spokesperson for the Social Security Administration, wrote in an email to USA TODAY.

The agency provides its own benefit eligibility calculator and tips for spotting scams on its website.

Stethoscope with medicare form with parts list.
Stethoscope with medicare form with parts list.

Medicare is not providing bonus payments

It's completely false that seniors are eligible for a $1,728 Medicare payment, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.

The best resource for those seeking information about programs for which they qualify is Medicare.gov, which has an Eligibility & Premium Calculator, the spokesperson said.

Websites that ask users for personal, financial or medical information, such as the page linked in the Facebook advertisement, can be scams. Seniors should only give their Medicare numbers to a trusted healthcare provider or insurer, CMS wrote to USA TODAY.

The agency provides further advice on avoiding scams and reporting suspected Medicare fraud on its website.

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Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that people born before 1957 are getting a $1,728 bonus to their Social Security or Medicare checks. The Social Security Administration does not list any program or benefit of that amount, and a spokesperson for Medicare and Medicaid told USA TODAY that "CMS is making no such payments."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim that seniors can get a $1,728 from government