Viewer Twila G. sent the VERIFY team a viral image that claims asylum seekers in the U.S. received $2,100 a month, while Social Security recipients only received $1,400.

The post she sent had gained more than 350,000 shares since it was posted earlier this year.

THE QUESTION:


Do asylum seekers in the United States get more benefits per month than Social Security recipients?

THE ANSWER:

No, data from government sources show the monetary amount given to asylum seekers and refugees is much lower than listed in the picture.

Additionally, it’s important to point out that the claim has been circulating online since as early as 2004.

VERIFY: No, asylum seekers don't get more benefits than Social Security recipients
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WHAT WE FOUND:

Data from the Department of Health and Human Services show that refugees actually receive closer to $600 a month when you combine federal, state and local sources. 

On page 38 of this report, the DHHS numbers show that the average annual expenditures on a refugee are $7,134.

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That comes out to $594.50 a month. And shows that the viral claim about asylum seekers earning $2,100 a month is false.

The photo is actually relatively close to the average amount that Social Security recipients receive. Social Security data show that the average monthly payment for Social Security benefits was $1,422 in 2018.

THIS IS AN OLD CLAIM

Not only is this claim false, it’s old. An online search shows it's been popping up for the past 15 years old. 

It’s almost a word for word recreation of claims that have gained traction online since 2004, when they first appeared in Canadian forums and outlets.


Despite fact-checking articles by multiple outlets, the claim still lives on and often resurfaces when political discussions about immigration occur.