Social Security is a federal program that provides insurance benefits to
retired workers, disabled workers and survivors of deceased workers;
hospital and medical insurance to the aged and disabled; and unemployment
insurance. Learn the basics at the following sites:
Social Security Online
The official site shows you how to request a statement
indicating how much you’ve paid, answers frequently asked questions and
outlines what to do in cases of identity theft.
Public Agenda Online
Offers a collection of public opinion surveys and a fact file that presents
Social Security basics and trends.
How It's Financed
Employees earn social security credits that carry over from job to job
throughout life. An employee’s benefits are based on earnings averaged over his or her lifetime.
The Social Security Administration's benefit calculators
can help you forecast your benefits.
The National Center for Policy Analysis
also offers a social security calculator.
The Heritage Foundation
estimates the amount of money you can expect to contribute in taxes and receive in
benefits over your lifetime, based on only your age and gender. You can
enter additional information for more accurate results.
A number of factors may affect your retirement benefits, including when you
begin to receive benefits, when you retire, inflation and whether or not you
are a government worker with a pension. Refer to this
SSA publication for more details.
In the 1930s, the Great
Depression flattened the economy and left many people without means of help.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social
Security Act in 1935, creating a federal program for
unemployment insurance, old-age aid and aid to dependent children, and offering federal
grants to states for workers’ insurance plans and medical care. Disability
insurance was added to the Social Security program in 1954, and Medicare was
added in 1965.
The Social Security Administration's History Page connects surfers to essays on the historical development of
social security, key dates and presidential quotes.
The History Page's FAQ section
outlines everything from
benefit history to the significance of Social Security numbers.
Social Security Today
More than 45 million people collect some kind of Social Security benefits,
according to the Social Security Administration.
Public Agenda reports that more than half of America’s retirees depend on social security
for at least half their income.
Sixty-three percent of social security collectors are retired workers.
Thirteen percent collect benefits on the basis of disabilities, according to
When the first Social Security check was issued in 1940, there were 42
workers for each retiree, according to the
National Center for Policy
Analysis. Today there are just over
Tomorrow's Social Security
The largest generation in the history of the nation, the Baby Boomers, will
soon retire and collect Social Security. As they prepare to retire, the
government is scrambling to find a way to continue to guarantee social