On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. His ideals recorded by the press were, “Today, a hope of many years standing is in large part fulfilled…We have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”
Due to the time and the horrific financial climate, SSA began much broader than what we know it to be today. It began as a National unemployment compensation program. Due to an improved economy and the population growth, the SSA benefits have diminished somewhat in the past 80 years. Many elderly citizens and even younger generations believed SSA was their retirement or unemployment safety net.
While there are still programs to assist unemployed workers, they are limited to only those whose disabilities prevent them from maintaining work. And the SSA retirement is usually not enough to provide for comfortable old age living. So the original vision has changed somewhat, but SSA is alive and kicking despite repeated rumors that it would soon be insolvent. The changes have been necessary to keep it afloat for those Americans who depend on the programs to supplement or even provide all of their income and health care needs.