Social Security Administration SSA

Social Security Administration:Its Evolution - Arriving with the Pilgrims in America in the late 16th century were English ideas and legal concepts regarding the care of the poor and the disabled.

­Evolving from the medieval guilds, merchant guilds, the earliest forms of fraternal organizations and early labor movements and their concern for what will happen to their elderly brothers to old to work, to sick to work and unable to cover their burial expenses, the English "poor laws", adopted iin England in 1601, along with the concept of life insurance, were the early precursors to what Americans in the 21st century call social security.

For hundreds of years, until the civil war and its devasting aftermath in 1862, the poor in America were confined to live in almshouse or "poor houses", English legal creations brought by the Pilgrims,where they were harshly treated and publicly scorned for their inabilty to take care of themselves.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans and hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans were unable to earn a living and wondered around the countryside. On a historical note, because of the war, there was a much higher proprtion of the population that was disbled or survivors of deceased bread winners than at any time in American history.

With striking similarities to later developments in social security, the full-fledged pension system, created for the Civil War veteran and his wife and family, developed for the first time in Amerca, provided benefits to the veteran that were limited to his disabilities. And, widows and orphans received pensions equal in amount to what would have been available to their deceased soldier if he had been disabled. Following the Civil War, three crushing depressions, including the Great Depression of 1929, threw millions of Americans out of work and left them unable to feed, to clothe or to adequately take care of their families.

During the great depression alone, 25% of the population totaling millions of people, were unemployed and two million adult men, dubbed "Hobos", wandered aimlessly around the country, while banks and businesses failed and the elderly were left dependent. Out of this environment, President Franklin Roosevelt, after his re-election in 1932, introduced his plan for social insurance, a plan that did include unemployment insurance, old-age assistance, aid to dependent children and grants to states to provide for medical care. Roosevelts plan was a work-related contirbution system in which workers would provide for their own economic securtiy through taxes paid while emplyed. Disability coverage and medical benefits would have to be amended in later By the time America adopted Social Security in 1935, it was widespread in Europe, 34 other countries had social insurance in place.­

For more Informations about the social security administration, visit the official website of SSA.


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