History of Social Security

The Beginning

Ernest AckermanEven though the Social Security system was written into law in 1935, payroll taxes weren’t collected to pay for the system until 1937. Originally, you had the choice of taking a lump sum or monthly payout. In the first 3 years, everyone took the lump sum, with Ernest Ackerman being the first American to receive a lump sum payment in 1937. He received a total of 17 cents after paying only 5 cents into the program!

Ida May FullerThe first monthly check was issued to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, VT. Fuller paid a total of $24.75 into the system throughout 3 years (1937, 1938, and 1939). The first monthly payment she received was for $22.54, and by her second check, she had already received more out of Social Security than she had paid into the system. Over her lifetime, she collected just under $23,000 in total Social Security benefits (after having only contributed $24.75) – a return of over 92,000%!

Timeline

Suspended Applications

April 30- last day to file a suspended application

2016

Changes in the Law

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is enacted.

2015

Online Innovation

Taxpayers can access their Social Security statements online by visiting.

2012

Procedure Change

SSA changed its procedures for issuing new SSNs.

2011

Social Security Protection Act

President Bush signed into law H.R. 743, the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-203).

2004

Ticket to Work

The “Ticket to Work” program was officially launched in the first 13 States.

2002

Reform

Welfare reform affects Social Security. Efforts are made to ease disabled workers into the workforce. 2000 SSA’s Internet service, SSA Online, reached the rank of #10 on the list of most frequently visited federal government web sites.

1999

Funding Crisis

Because of a funding crisis, Social Security benefits are reduced. Benefits are taxed as income for the first time.

1983

Adjustments

Automatic cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security are approved. Now COLAs are based on the rise and fall of consumer prices.

1975

Amendments

Social Security Amendments lowers the retirement age to 62.

1961

Another Expansion

The Social Security program is expanded to cover the disabled children of workers.

1956

Cost of Living

The first cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is made by Congress. Social Security payments are increased by 77 percent.

1950

Payments Begin

Monthly Social Security payments begin. Ida May Fuller was the first person to receive a monthly Social Security check. She would live to be 100 and collect just under $22,000 over her lifetime.

1940

Expansion

The Social Security program is expanded to include dependents and survivors of workers who retire, are disabled, or die prematurely.

1939

First Benefits

First Social Security benefits are paid. Early Social Security checks are one-time payments.
1937

The Social Security Act

The Social Security Act is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt.

1935

Sourced from: Social Security Administration