** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on October…
On August 14, 1935 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, and thus created what is now considered by many as the foundation of retirement in America.
The Social Security Act established a revolutionary new form of economic security for seniors. This economic security was later provided to individuals with disabilities when the Social Security Disability Insurance program was enacted in 1956. It was later extended to the aged, blind and individuals with disabilities who have limited income when the Supplemental Security Income program went into effect in 1974.
Despite controversy over the future of the Social Security system, there is no denying the fact that it has changed the lives of millions of Americans. Throughout the past 78 years, social security benefits have helped prevent millions of seniors, widows, children, and individuals with disabilities from living in poverty. In 2012, approximately 61.9 million people received some sort of benefit from the Social Security Administration.
Although the average Social Security retirement benefit is only $1,268 per month, this benefit has become increasingly more important. As members of today’s workforce face reduced pensions, declining home values, and little to no personal savings, Social Security acts as a financial safety net. For many seniors, Social Security provides the ability to retire with the dignity and security they have earned after a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice.
The Social Security system, like any other system (See “Seniors are Not the Problem…“), has its flaws. Despite the elements of waste and abuse that exist, there is no denying the important role Social Security plays in American society. So with that said, Happy 78th Anniversary, Social Security. May you have many more years of providing help to America’s seniors, widows, children, and individuals with disabilities.
By Eric J. Einhart, Esq. – Guest Blogger