Happy Birthday to Social Security!

Social Security 80th Anniversary

Today is August 14, 2015. And in case you didn’t know, today marks the 80th anniversary of the Social Security program. Few Americans alive today can remember a time before Social Security existed, so in honor of this momentous day, here’s a list of some Social Security facts that you maybe didn’t know . . .

  • The Social Security retirement program was enacted under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935.
  • In 1939 the program added benefits for dependent survivors of wage earners.
  • In 1956 the program added disability insurance benefits.
  • Social Security offers vital protection to nearly all American workers and their families, so that if they face serious disability, illness, or injury before reaching retirement age, they will receive a monthly benefit.
  • In addition to providing economic security to millions of Americans, Social Security also boosts the economy by allowing its beneficiaries to spend the money in their communities. In 2012, Social Security supported more than $1 trillion in economic output.
  • The disability standard is extremely strict requiring extensive medical documentation for serious impairments and conditions. In fact, more than six in 10 applicants are denied even after all stages of appeal.
  • Social Security benefits make up at least 90 percent of income for half of all disabled beneficiaries, which averages to just around $1,130 per month ($35 per day).
  • Social Security is funded by your payroll taxes—as you work, you buy premiums for this important insurance.
  • Today millions of Americans rely on these Social Security programs for income in the event of their own retirement, disability, or death of a family wage-earner.

Happy Birthday, Social Security! To learn even more about how this program works, check out our blog post on what the SSA does.