Social Programs for the Elderly

1696 Words7 Pages
Prior to 1935 there were no social programs in America for the elderly, and those that were not able to work. Those who were unable to work relied on friends and family or local charity for help. (Quadagno, 2014) pg 95. During the Depression in the 1930’s, banks failed and many people lost their savings and retirement money. Many older workers especially were let go from their jobs and unemployment among people over 45 years was high. Unemployment was about 25 percent for all workers and 37% for all non-farm workers. (Smiley, 2008). President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw a need for a national system to help the elderly and disabled. He created a Committee of Economic Security. This committee was assigned to study this need in more detail. In, January 1935 a report was sent to Roosevelt outlining a program which became the Social Security Act. The Social Security Act was sent to Congress and was passed in to law on August 14, 1935. (King T, 2006) This new law would provide a monthly benefit or payment to people over the age of 65 and who were no longer working. The benefit would be paid when workers retired. The money would be collected from a person through a “payroll deduction”; so the amount a person would receive at retirement would be bases on the amount that had been collected throughout the years. The payroll deduction was 2% combined between the employee and employer. (Anders & Hulse, 2006). The Social Security Act also would provide unemployment insurance, aid to
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