75th Anniversary of the Social Security Act
On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act was signed into law. The original Social Security Act set payroll taxes to begin in 1937 and for monthly benefits to begin in 1942. In 1939, Congress amended the law so that monthly benefits could begin in 1940. The 1939 amendments also expanded the benefits from retirements for individual workers to adding benefits for survivors and dependents of a worker. Disability benefits were added to the law in the 1950s and 1960s.
To help keep track of the earnings of all U.S. workers, the Social Security board decided that all workers would be assigned a Social Security Number and all employers would be issued an Employer Identification Number. About 35 million social security numbers were issued in the first two years of the act.
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Act, the Social Security Administration has put together a historical website, which includes rare and interesting historical speeches and documents by early social security advocates. In addition, the Social Security Administration is asking the general public to submit stories of how Social Security has made a difference in their lives or their families live. Submit your story today!