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Thesis on Social Security

Essay Topic: ,

Social Security was a good idea but somewhere along the way it was not thought out to last. The Social Security Act was signed in to law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. It included several provisions for general welfare and created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement.

There two major provisions related to the elderly, Title I- Grants to States for Old-Age Assistance, which supported state welfare programs for the aged, and Title II-Federal Old-Age Benefits.It was Title II that was the new social insurance program we now think of as Social Security. In the original Act benefits were to be paid only to the primary worker when he/she retired at age 65.

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Benefits were to be based on payroll tax contributions that the worker made during his/her working life. Payment of monthly Social Security benefits began in January 1940, and were authorized not only for aged retired workers but for their aged wives or widows, children under age 18, and surviving aged parents.The first monthly retirement check was issued on January 31, 1940 to a lady by the name of Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, in the amount of $22. 54.

Miss Fuller, a Legal Secretary, retired in November 1939. She started collecting benefits in January 1940 at age 65 and lived to be 100 years old, dying in 1975. (http://www. ssa. gov/history/briefhistory3. html) Over the years there were many changes to the original Social Security Act (SSA). One of these changes happened in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

The SSA became responsible for a new program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).In the original 1935 Social Security Act, programs were introduced for needy aged and blind individuals and, in 1950, needy disabled individuals were added. These three programs were known as the “adult categories” and were administered by State and local governments with partial Federal funding. Over the years, the State programs became more complex and inconsistent, with as many as 1,350 administrative agencies involved and payments varying more than 300% from State to State. (http://www. ssa. gov/history/briefhistory3.

html) From its modest beginnings, Social Security has grown to become an essential facet of modern life.One in seven Americans receives a Social Security benefit, and more than 90 percent of all workers are in jobs covered by Social Security. From 1940, when slightly more than 222,000 people received monthly Social Security benefits, until today, when over 50 million people receive such benefits, Social Security has grown steadily. The SSI program has grown as well from its inception in 1974. In 2008 it was estimated that 50,898,244 Americans received $615,344,000,000 in Social Security and nearly 7,520,501 Americans received $43,040,000,000 in SSI benefits. (

gov/history/briefhistory3.html”>http://www. ssa. gov/history/briefhistory3. html)

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