Social Security Act Essay

686 WordsAug 19, 20123 Pages
The Social Security Act of 1935, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, created a program that included social insurance programs, as well as public assistance. Both programs came about due to the depression and were created as part of the New Deal to benefit the citizens who needed assistance. While both programs were created to assist the public, each program had different eligibility requirements and accomplished different tasks. Social insurance programs were designed to provide continuing income to citizens over 65 after retirement, health benefits and provide benefits for the unemployed, survivors and disabled. Social insurance programs are non-means tested, work based and incorporate a large number of people while public assistance…show more content…
In the 1960’s the ADC ballooned into Aid to Dependent Families and Children allowing the stipend to increase to involve the caregiver. The Families used ADFC income to pay for expenses such as rent, utilities, food and other needs (hhs.state.ne.us,2009). ADFC discouraged marriage, pursuing a job which created a dependency on the program. By 1996, TANF was created to replace ADFC and created caps on the system. TANF is public assistance that requires participants to maintain a job and they can only receive benefits for a total of five years. People who qualify for TANF fall under the public’s eye as having a worthiness problem (N. Reid, personal communication, November, 2010). People tend to judge recipients of TANF creating harsh criticism about the program. Another program was Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program it was established to provide a minimum income for the disabled, blind and older Americans. This program works to help recipients with vocational skills therefore they can seek work opportunities. This is one of the least criticized programs by the public because the recipients are physically “worthy” of their benefits (J. Marx, 2004). The last major public assistance program is General Assistance which is a program that provides help for people who do not qualify for other areas of federal assistance. Each state has their own requirements for eligibility for general assistance services. This program

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