The U.S. Social Security program is designed to aid residents in need through welfare subsidies. The programs are provided by organizations on federal, state, local, and private levels; and help to provide eligible residents with food, shelter, healthcare, education and money. Aid is provided through financial aid for college education, unemployment disability insurance, food stamps, pensions for eligible low-wage workers, subsidies for housing, and health insurance programs for public employees (Feldstein, 2005; Krugman, 2007).
President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935 as a means to battle the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Beginning ...view middle of the document...
There are also ten regional offices, six processing centers, and about 1,230 field offices all decentralized to provide services at the local levels (Organizational Structure, n.d.). Today, the Social Security program is the most popular government program and touches the lives of every worker in the country. It has three major programs for retirement, survivors, and disability. The retirement program provides monthly income for qualified, retired workers once they reach the ages of 65 to 67. The benefits they receive vary based on their income while they were employed. The survivors program provides monthly income to the spouses of deceased workers once they reach retirement age. This program also provides benefits to children under the age of eighteen and the surviving spouse caring for them. These benefits will end whenever the child reaches the age of eighteen or graduates high school. Social Security will also provide monthly payments to workers who are disabled and, potentially, their spouses and children. Disability benefits will vary based on the workers earning history (John, 2005).
To qualify for Social Security benefits, residents need to be employed and pay Social Security taxes for at least 40 quarters during their working lives. In order to receive disability benefits, applicants need to have been disabled for at least one year prior to signing up. To be “disabled” means to be unable to perform any significant amount of profitable work due to severe physical or mental impairment (John, 2005). Federal Insurance Contributions Act, or FICA, is the term used for the taxes citizens pay to sponsor Social Security. These taxes are never supposed to be used for any other purpose and are deducted from worker’s paychecks. The amount deducted is based off of their income (John, 2005).
Calculation of Benefits and Other Types of Benefits
Social Security benefits are based on a worker’s lifetime earnings. The actual earnings are adjusted to account for changes in average wages since the earnings were received. The Social Security Administration calculates eligible applicant’s average adjusted monthly earnings during the 35 years they...