Learn How Social Security Evolved

Signed into law on August 14, 1935 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a limited form of what we now call Social Security has been in place since January of 1937. During the Great Depression, more than half of senior citizens after Retirement were in poverty and the “social insurance” plan was developed by the President’s Committee on Economic Security as a means to combat it. In the beginning, the program was designed to provide benefits to the retired and unemployed, as well as a lump-sum at death.
From the start, the limitations imposed by the program were controversial: benefits were offered for certain professions, leaving out women and minorities in large numbers. Exclusions that kept nurses, teachers, social workers and many others from claiming benefits meant barely more than half of the American workforce received help. In addition to stipulations already in place “just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through,” as the NAACP protested, much of the authority for distributing aid was given to the states to appease Southern congressmen. As a result, black families were often allocated less money than white ones, widening the gap even further.
Of course, there was some debate as to whether the program would be considered constitutional at all. The Supreme Court had been quite forceful in striking down New Deal legislation throughout the mid-1930s and, if not for a timely switch after the Judiciary Reorganization Bill was proposed by President Roosevelt in 1937, it might have been eliminated just as the first death benefits were being paid out. A pair of decisions released on the same day, Steward Machine Company v. Davis and Helvering v. Davis, upheld the right of the federal government to set policies for “the promotion of the general welfare.” Three years later, Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont received the first monthly Social Security payment.
The program has evolved almost continuously, as concerns regarding holes in the payment plans led to more inclusive amendments in 1939. The number of covered individuals remained relatively stable until separate amendments in 1950 and 1954 extended coverage to nearly everyone, but dependents and spouses of working women were still prevented from receiving death benefits until 1962. It wasn’t until the 1970s, when protection was extended further and cost-of-living adjustments were created almost 40 years after the bill first went into effect, that Social Security as Americans understand it today came into being.
So this was just a brief of Origin of Social Security

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