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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are administered at Providence Edwards Lifesciences vaccination site in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 21, 2021. (AP/Hong) Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are administered at Providence Edwards Lifesciences vaccination site in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 21, 2021. (AP/Hong)

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are administered at Providence Edwards Lifesciences vaccination site in Santa Ana, Calif., on May 21, 2021. (AP/Hong)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher October 21, 2021

No COVID-19 vaccination required to receive Social Security payments

If Your Time is short

  • There is no requirement, and no proposed requirement, that you need a COVID-19 vaccination to receive Social Security payments.

A headline widely shared on social media falsely suggests that if you don’t get a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll lose your Social Security benefits. 

The headline is on a TikTok video that shows 25 seconds of comments made on the Senate floor by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. 

The headline says: 

"So now if you don’t comply and on social security or disability you won’t be able to receive your money." 

The text below the video says: "October 19th 2021," which is the day Scott made the remarks seen in the video.

The TikTok video was shared in an Instagram post, where it was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

No such vaccination requirement is in place and none has been proposed. The text on the video was based on a poor or misleading interpretation of what happened on the Senate floor.

 

On the floor, Scott mentioned a bill he introduced the same day to prohibit requiring that any individual be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of receiving Social Security benefits. 

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., argued that the bill was proposed for political gain, because there is no effort to tie Social Security benefits to vaccinations.

Making a reference to Halloween, Wyden accused Scott of "telling the American people scary stories about vaccines threatening their Social Security benefits. I don’t believe the American people are so easily tricked. This idea is as fantastical and ridiculous as a vampire living under your bed."

Scott replied by defending his bill, even as he acknowledged that there is no pending legislation that would tie Social Security  to a recipient's vaccination status.

We’ve noted with italics the portion of Scott’s remarks that is included in the TikTok video. Referring to Wyden, Scott said:

"Well, clearly, I'm pretty shocked. By objecting to this bill, my colleague is suggesting that it’s acceptable for the government to deny Social Security checks to American seniors and checks to those who are physically disabled because they made a personal medical choice to not receive the vaccine. This is not far-fetched. The Biden administration’s already doing it to companies and people that have a job. The Social Security system is meant to help those who have spent their lives working in this country and disability checks are designed to help those who cannot work. These checks are not a tool for government to impose its will on the people, just as it shouldn't be the position of the Biden administration to require companies to enforce a vaccine mandate. But if you're on Social Security, or your parent is receiving Social Security checks, this is what my colleague is suggesting by blocking this legislation — get the vaccine or go broke."

Our ruling

A headline widely shared on social media stated: "So now if you don’t comply" and get a COVID-19 vaccination, and you’re on "Social Security or disability, you won’t be able to receive your money." 

The headline appeared over a video a snippet of remarks made by Scott.

There is no vaccination requirement for receiving Social Security benefits, or any proposal for such a requirement. 

We rate the post False.

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No COVID-19 vaccination required to receive Social Security payments

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