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A Brief History Of Social Security In The United States

Last updated 3 years ago

The Great Depression was a time of widespread destitution in the United States. As the early 1930s progressed, Americans expressed their desire for change by electing President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised Americans a “New Deal” and a way out of a lousy economy. Social Security was among the changes promised by President Roosevelt. Read the following information for a brief history of this social program:

  • Creation and Opposition

The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt in August of 1935 and marked the first time in the history of the United States that elderly individuals would receive federal aid. Social Security taxes were first collected in 1937 and distributed to the elderly, those well below the poverty line, and the unemployed later that same year.

Although Americans were in dire need of aid during The Great Depression, many felt the social program was akin to socialism and had no place in the capitalist society of the United States. After many heated debates and Supreme Court rulings, however, Social Security would remain a constitutional part of federal policy.

  • 1960s Expansion

President Lyndon B. Johnson ran on a platform of widespread social change just as President Roosevelt did 30 years prior. In 1965, medical benefits were added to the Social Security program, officially establishing Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare ensures medical treatment for the elderly while Medicaid serves to help those who cannot afford to purchase insurance through traditional means. By the 1960s, women became eligible to receive Social Security benefits and, as a nation, over 11 billion dollars’ worth of aid was distributed.

  • Rampant Instability, the 1980s, and the Current State of Affairs

Since the 1960s, Social Security programs have been characterized primarily by insolvency and grim longevity. Although changes in the 1980s made certain benefits taxable and generated much-needed tax dollars, the fact still remains that Social Security, unless changed, is likely unsustainable in the long term.

Currently, many of those who are too injured or sick to work depend on aid from Social Security programs to survive. If you feel like you’re not receiving the benefits you deserve, then contact an Social Security lawyer right away. The law offices of Todd Berk, Esq. specialize in helping individuals secure the means they need to live comfortably. Call us at (215) 687-4432 for more information.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.


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