Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 20, 2024

Social Security Warns Against $600 Payment Scam

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has publicly debunked false claims circulating online regarding a $600 payment increase and new stimulus checks for Social Security recipients.

According to Fox 31, the SSA confirmed that misguided rumors of a $600 payment increase for Social Security recipients are entirely false.

Unreliable websites were the main source of these incorrect claims. This misleading information led to over 463,000 calls to the SSA in a single day, overwhelming the agency's resources.

False Online Articles Lead To Public Confusion

In addition to the false $600 payment increase rumor, other untruthful online articles propagated the myth of new stimulus checks for Social Security recipients. These claims are also unequivocally false, as confirmed by the SSA.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Social Security-related scams are currently the top government imposter scams in the U.S. Consumers reported losing $126.5 million to such scams last year, highlighting the severe impact of these fraudulent activities.

Official Announcements And COLA Information

The SSA emphasized that all official announcements concerning Social Security payments are made on the government website. Individuals are notified directly to prevent misinformation from spreading. The confusion led the SSA to stress the importance of verifying information through credible sources.

The annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for 2025 will be publicly announced in October, with any changes becoming effective in January 2025. The Senior Citizens League currently estimates the COLA increase for 2025 to be around 2.57%, but the actual figure will depend on inflation rates from July to September.

It's important to note that COLA increases issued by the SSA are automatic. Recipients do not need to provide any additional information to receive these legitimate increases. Gail Ennis, the SSA's Inspector General, clarified this:

The annual cost-of-living increases issued by SSA are ALWAYS automatic. No additional information is required for you to receive the legitimate COLA increase.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Payments

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for June were distributed early due to June 1 falling on a Saturday, with payments issued on May 31. This adjustment was intended to ensure recipients received their benefits without delays.

Additionally, the SSA has scheduled payments for June according to recipients' birth dates. Payments for those who have been receiving Social Security since before May 1997 were issued on June 3. Individuals whose birthdays fall between the 1st and 10th of the month received payments on June 12.

People with birthdays between the 11th and 20th received their payments earlier, on June 18, due to the Juneteenth holiday. Finally, those born between the 21st and 31st received their payments on June 26.

To prevent falling victim to these scams, the SSA and FTC urge individuals to stay vigilant. It’s crucial for recipients to be wary of information that is not disseminated through official SSA channels.  As Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley stated, “Reports of a $600 payment increase are FALSE, please be aware and don’t fall for this stunt.”

Conclusion

The Social Security Administration has clarified that claims of a $600 payment increase and new stimulus checks for Social Security recipients are false. This misinformation led to an overwhelming number of inquiries to the SSA. The agency reiterates that the only reliable sources for Social Security information are official government announcements. With the upcoming COLA increase, it is essential for recipients to understand that these adjustments are automatic and require no additional information. Public awareness remains critical in combating Social Security-related scams, which have caused significant financial loss to consumers.

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About Ashton Snyder

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