National Social Security Day

DayNational Social Security Day
DateAugust 14, 2023
Year Started2022
PurposeTo create awareness about the importance of Social Security benefits for retired, disabled, and deceased workers and their families.

National Social Security Day is observed annually on August 14th in the United States. It commemorates the day in 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. This important legislation established a national social insurance program that provides benefits to millions of retired and disabled Americans, as well as their spouses and dependent children.

History of National Social Security Day

The Social Security Act was first brought up and drafted during President Roosevelt’s New Deal program in the 1930s. At the time, the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, and poverty among senior citizens was a huge problem, with almost half of the elderly population living in poverty.

Roosevelt believed that social insurance for retirees would act as a safeguard against the risks of old age, disability, and unemployment. He stated, “We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”

On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

The Act contained several provisions including:

  • Old-Age Benefits – Monthly payments to retired workers age 65 or older.
  • Unemployment Benefits – Weekly payments to unemployed workers.
  • Aid to Dependent Children – Grants to states to provide financial assistance to single mothers and their children.
  • Grants to States for Maternal and Child Welfare – Funding for healthcare services for mothers and children.

Over the next few years, the Act was amended several times to expand coverage and benefits including adding disability insurance in 1956.

Today, the Social Security program provides monthly benefits to around 67 million Americans and is funded through dedicated payroll taxes paid by workers and employers. It has proven to be one of the most impactful pieces of social legislation in U.S. history.

How to Celebrate National Social Security Day

Here are some ideas on how to observe this day:

  • Learn about the history and impact of Social Security. Do some research into how Social Security was created and what role it has played in providing economic security for millions of Americans over the last 87 years.
  • Spread awareness on social media. Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. using the hashtag #NationalSocialSecurityDay. Share facts, figures and infographics about Social Security with your followers.
  • Watch documentaries/films about Social Security. Some suggestions are Nana, Hearts and Minds and Forgotten Ellis Island. These documentaries highlight personal stories relating to Social Security.
  • Appreciate Social Security benefits if you receive them. If you directly benefit from Social Security or Medicare, take a moment to reflect on how these programs have supported your needs.
  • Thank the SSA. The Social Security Administration oversees the Social Security program. You can send them a thank you message through their website.
  • Advocate for the future of Social Security. This day is a good opportunity to reach out to your local congressional representatives on any legislation that affects Social Security.
  • Discuss retirement planning. Have conversations with your family about the role of Social Security benefits in retirement planning.
  • Volunteer at a retirement home. Give your time to help brighten the day for some senior citizens in your community.

Timeline of Key Events

Here are some key milestones in the history of Social Security:

  • 1934 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the Committee on Economic Security to draft proposals for social insurance programs.
  • 1935, August 14 – President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law.
  • 1937, January – First Social Security taxes are collected from employers and employees.
  • 1940, January – First monthly old-age insurance benefits are paid to retired workers.
  • 1956 – Disability insurance benefits are added to Social Security.
  • 1965, July 1 – Medicare health insurance program is created through amendments to the Social Security Act.
  • 1972 – Cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) automatically adjust benefits to reflect inflation annually.
  • 1983 – Congress passes recommendations to bolster the solvency of Social Security. Payroll taxes increased and the full retirement age rises gradually.
  • 2021 – The Social Security Administration pays benefits to over 65 million Americans, totaling over 1 trillion dollars for the year.

Quotes About Social Security

“Social Security represents the commitment of a society to the belief that people should not live in dire poverty after a lifetime of work.” – Senator Bernie Sanders

“Social Security is a covenant we make as a nation and a people to our parents, our grandparents and our children.” – William Jessee

“Social Security is one of the greatest achievements of the American government, protecting our elderly against poverty and assuring young people of a more secure future.” – Ronald Reagan

“Let us tell senior citizens, homeless veterans and disabled Americans that we as a nation stand by the commitments of Social Security and Medicare.” – Kamala Harris

“To destroy our Social Security system to accommodate the Cowboy Economics of the Bush Administration is bad public policy and not in the public interest.” – Barbara Boxer

Hashtags to Use on Social Media

Here are some relevant hashtags to use when sharing National Social Security Day posts/updates on social media:

  • #NationalSocialSecurityDay
  • #SocialSecurity
  • #SSA
  • #SocialSecurityMatters
  • #RetireSecure
  • #Medicare
  • #Seniors
  • #RetirementPlanning
  • #FinancialFreedom

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the first National Social Security Day observed?

The first National Social Security Day was celebrated on August 14, 2022, which marked the 87th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act.

Who started the commemoration of this day?

National Social Security Day was launched by non-profit organizations and advocacy groups like the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) and Social Security Works.

How is Social Security funded?

Social Security is funded through dedicated payroll taxes – FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes paid by employees and employers. Employees pay 6.2% of wages up to an annual limit and employers match that amount.

What percentage of retirees depend upon Social Security for most of their income?

Surveys show that 2 out of 3 retirees depend on Social Security for a majority of their retirement income. For 1 in 4 seniors, it contributes to 90% or more of their retirement income.

Does Social Security face potential funding shortages in the future?

Yes, according to the most recent Social Security Trustees report, the reserves are projected to be depleted by 2035 due to the large baby boomer population entering retirement. Steps will need to be taken by Congress to ensure long-term solvency.

Who administers the Social Security program?

Social Security is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) – an independent federal agency created in 1935 that manages the program, determines eligibility & benefit amounts, and distributes monthly payments.

What is the FICA tax limit for 2023?

For 2023, FICA taxes are collected on earned income up to $160,200. The FICA tax rate is 15.3% (12.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare).

Can I receive Social Security if I have never worked?

No, you typically must have at least 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for Social Security benefits based on your own employment record. Spouses may claim benefits based on the other’s work history.

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