Refugees Earn More than Retirees-Fiction!

Refugees get more money from the government than people on Social Security- Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A forward email that complains that refugees get $2470 a month, an amount much higher than what retired Americans earn who paid into the social security system most of their adult lives.

The Truth:

Several important things about this eRumor.

First, it originated in Canada and the figures that the writer of the email used are based on Canadian policies.  Some versions of this eRumor have circulated as though it is referring to the United States by including references to SSI and Medicare, which are American programs.

Second, even the Canadian figures are not accurately represented.  

According to the United Nations Association in Canada the writer of this email did not compare apples with apples.

A refugee (not an ordinary immigrant) seeking safety in Canada was, at the time the eRumor originated, eligible for a one-time payment of $1,890.  In addition, the refugee could receive $580 per month as assistance until stable employment was achieved.   The writer of the eRumor mistakenly added the one-time payment to the monthly figure and came up with a total monthly amount of $2,470 which would have been more than the $1,012 per month available to Canadian pensioners.  Click for United Nations Canada paper in Adobe PDF format.

updated 4/24/09