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 showing 25 seconds of comments made on the Senate floor by Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla.
The headline says:
“So now if you don’t meet Social Security or have a disability, you can’t get your money.”
The caption below the video reads, “October 19, 2021,” the day Scott made the comments featured in the video.
The TikTok video was shared in an Instagram post, where it was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news and misinformation on its news feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Such a vaccination requirement does not exist 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 filed on the same day to ban anyone from being 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 attempt to tie Social Security benefits to vaccinations.
Referring 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 fooled. This idea is as fantastic and ridiculous as a vampire lives under your bed.”
Scott responded by defending his bill, even though he acknowledged that there is no pending legislation that would link Social Security to a recipient’s vaccination status.
We’ve italicized the portion of Scott’s comments included in the TikTok video. Referring to Wyden, Scott said:
“Well, obviously I’m pretty shocked. By opposing this bill, my colleague is suggesting that it is acceptable for the government to deny US seniors Social Security and physical disability checks because they have made a personal medical choice not to receive the vaccine. This is not far-fetched. The Biden administration is already doing it for companies and people who have a job. The social security system is designed to help those who have worked all their lives in this country and disability checks are designed to help people who are unable to work. These controls are not a tool for the government to impose its will on the people, just as it should not be the position of the Biden administration to require companies to enforce a vaccine mandate. But if you have Social Security, or if your parent receives Social Security checks, here’s what my colleague is suggesting by blocking this legislation: Get vaccinated or go bankrupt.”
A headline widely shared on social media read: “So if you don’t follow the rules now” and get a COVID-19 vaccination, and you’re on “Social Security or Disability, You Can’t Get Your Money” .
The headline appeared above a video with a snippet of comments from Scott.
There is no vaccination requirement for receiving Social Security benefits, or any proposed such requirement.
We rate the message False.