A headline claiming that $1,657 checks will be distributed to Americans is false. It is actually Social Security benefits for retired or disabled workers.
After reading a headline in The United States Sun newspaper, some people are wondering if Americans will receive another round of direct payments.
The headline reads, “Americans to receive $1,657 cheques in just FOUR days – and your birthdate will determine when you get the cash.” Some social media users are speculating about this, and Google Trends data shows that many are wondering if everyone will receive the $1,657 checks.
Are all Americans receiving $1,657 checks?
No, not all Americans are receiving $1,657 checks.
The $1,657 payments are only available to Social Security beneficiaries and are not available to the general public. The Sun newspaper mentions this later in the report, but not in the misleading title. The checks themselves aren’t brand new; instead, recipients are getting a cost-of-living adjustment to their monthly benefits payments.
When people retire or are unable to work due to a disability, Social Security provides a source of income for them. Retirees can start collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62.
No, not every American will receive a check for $1,657.
Due to rising living costs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 70 million Americans will increase by 5.9 percent in 2022. In January 2022, the majority of Social Security recipients will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and the average payout for all retired employees is currently $1,657.
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, stated in a press release that the annual COLA is linked to the Consumer Price Index, the most widely used measure of inflation determined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The COLA protects benefits from losing purchasing power over time as the cost of rent, food, and other expenses rises,” according to the news release. “Medicare premiums, which are deducted from the majority of beneficiaries’ Social Security checks, frequently absorb a large portion of the COLA increase.”
The $1,657 figure in The Sun’s headline is also mentioned in the SSA fact sheet.
According to the Social Security Administration, after the 5.9 percent increase, all retired workers would receive an average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,657, up from $1,565 previously. The average monthly benefit payment for a couple increased from $2,599 to $2,753.
The Sun also states in its title that a person’s birthdate determines when they receive their pay. That, too, is nothing new.
According to AARP, a timetable that has been in effect since 1997 determines when Social Security claimants will receive their benefit payments based on their birthday. Previously, all charges were sent out on the third day of the month, but as the number of recipients grew, this became impossible.
The following is the payment schedule for Social Security benefits:
- Birthdays are paid on the second Wednesday of each month from January 1 to October 10.
- Those born between the 11th and 20th of the month are paid the third Wednesday of the month.
- Birthdays between the 21st and 31st of the month are paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
- These payments are unrelated to the stimulus package. Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, the federal government provided three waves of stimulus funds ranging from $600 to $1,400.