Social Security and Social Security Administration
Michael Jones worked his whole life. At the age of 15 he started as a dishwasher at a restaurant a mile away from his house. He never graduated high school because he had to quit school to help his single mom support a family of six. There were many times in his life where he worked two jobs, but at minimum-wage, if that, 80 hours a week still did not go far. By the age of 20 he was married, and soon began to have a family of his own. Michael is a simple man but a hard workingman. Michael rarely took vacations, worked 60+ hours a week, and raised four daughters of his own. After about 25 years of marriage Michael and his wife divorced. Recently Michael turned 65, and against his desire to keep working, his doctor suggested that he retire, due to suffering from two heart attacks, one when he was 50, the other when he was 62. For 50 years Michael has worked many jobs, unfortunately, due to his limited education, he often worked minimum paying jobs. During the first half of this working life he was supporting his family, and Michael was only able to save for retirement after his children had graduated college. Only his latest employer offered pension plan. Now after working his whole life, Michael is left with $305 a month from his pension, and $742 from Social Security. Social Security has become his major source of sustainment. The Social Security Administration (SSA), has become a lifesaver for Michael and most retirees. This paper will attempt to answer how the Social Security Administration came to be, and what it does for the country and its hard working citizens. It will give a brief overview on the history of the administration; what statutes give the agency its authorities; what authorities it has; how it works, and how it can be improved.
What is Social Security?
Social Security is government system that provides monetary assistance to people with an inadequate or no income; it is a federal insurance program that provides for retirees, disabled, and dependents. Social Security is self-funded, every dollar the program uses for benefit payments administrative overhead and future investment comes from direct contributions of workers and employers (Landis, 2011, p. 19-22). Social Security is much more than a retirement program. It not only provides for individuals over the age of 62 who retire, it provides for workers under full retirement age who become totally disabled, but it also provides for surviving family members of workers who died at any age. It also provides benefits for family members of workers who retire or become disabled. Also under the Social Security Administration is Medicare, which provides health insurance for those retirees over the age of 65 and certain disabled persons and their dependents (Landis, 2011, p. 26-27). Without Social Security many American would not have the means necessary to support themselves or their families.
History and Enabling Statute of SSA