Reminiscing the Social Security Law in the US

It is the Great Depression of the ‘30s that necessitates the creation of a Social Security program in the US. Poverty reaches its highest peak among older citizens that time and something has to be done.

The Social Security Act, which is considered the first Social Security law, was drafted under the administration of President Roosevelt. It was signed into law on 14 August 1935.

The act addresses many issues, amongst which includes:

• Old age

• Poverty

• Unemployment

• Survivors

• Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the government agency tasked to administer the program. Later on, it added health insurance benefits in the scope of the Social Security under the Medicare program.

Generally, benefits under the Social Security law are paid based on the workers’ employment record and social security taxes or contributions.

The Social Security Act evolved during the past years as new social and economic issues emerge. Changes were made to provide more protection and coverage for the Social Security members.

The so-called OASDI or the Federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance pays monthly benefits to the following qualified individual/s:

• Retirees

• Family of a deceased worker

• Unemployed worker due to illness

• Unemployed worker due to accident

Nowadays, the major coverage handled by SSA, where qualified members are entitled to benefits under the Social Security law, are the following:

Retirement benefits

This benefit is given to a worker who worked and paid Social Security taxes upon retirement. The worker earns credits during the time he was working. His entitlement to benefits and the amount thereof will be based on his earned credits.

The number of required credits depends on the year the worker was born. If he was born in 1929 or later, he will need 40 credits or an equivalent of 10 years of work.

The amount receivable will also vary depending on the worker’s retirement age. If he opted to retire early at the age of 62, his benefits will not be as high when he retires at older age.

Disability benefits

The SSA pays disability benefits under two programs: The Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI is paid for people who were incapacitated to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

Members of the family of a disabled worker can also benefit under this program.

It is SSI program which will be applied for payments to people with low income who are 65 years of age or over or are blind or have disability.

Survivor benefits

Like retirement benefits, survivor benefits are based on the accumulated credit earned by a worker, during the time he was working and paying Social Security taxes.

The family of a worker is entitled to receive this compensation in the event the working member dies.


This is a health insurance program available for people 65 years of age or older. It is also available for person under the age of 65 with certain disabilities and any age with permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

To know more information regarding social security benefits and other claims, you can consult with our experienced Los Angeles social security lawyers. You can visit our website to avail of our free case evaluation.