Happy Birthday Social Security

Pinnacle Personnel Services LLC  |  Debbie Hatch

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a law creating Social Security on 14 August 1935.  Our country was in the midst of a great depression at the time.  He said he was, “looking for a sound means to provide security against several of the great disturbing factors in life – especially those which relate to unemployment and old age.”  At first, the program covered retirees only. Over ensuing decades, Social Security grew to include retirees’ spouses and children, the disabled and their dependents.  In 1935, the minimum monthly benefit was $10 and the maximum was $85.  There was no cost of living allowance.

Ida May Fuller was the very first Social Security beneficiary and began receiving $22.54 a month in January 1940. By the time of her death at age 100, the former Vermont schoolteacher and secretary had collected $22,000.

This year Social Security turned 82 years old.  More than 454 million numbers have been issued, with about 5.5 million new numbers assigned each year.

Currently, nearly 61.5 million US residents collect benefits. While the majority of today’s beneficiaries are still retirees, about 4 million children under the age of 18 receive benefits as the offspring of deceased, disabled or retired workers.  Average monthly benefits are now $1,323 per month and include cost of living adjustments.

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