Why (at age 83!) Social Security is one of the nation’s most successful, effective, and popular programs

Roosevelt signs Social Security Bill
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law | Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Eighty-three years after President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, Social Security remains one of the nation’s most successful, effective, and popular programs.

Social Security provides a foundation of income on which workers can build to plan for their retirement. It also provides valuable social insurance protection to workers who become disabled and to families whose breadwinner dies.

Though most people understand how much elderly Americans need and value Social Security, fewer understand its importance for children and their families. About 6 million children under age 18 lived in families that received income from Social Security in 2017. That number included nearly 3 million children who received their own benefits.

Children can qualify for benefits if a breadwinning parent dies, becomes disabled, or retires. Social Security also indirectly helps children who live with a parent or other relative who receives benefits, which can help the whole family stay afloat — particularly in cases of premature death or life-changing illness or injury.

Social Security is one of the biggest child poverty fighters of any program, lifting 1.7 million children out of poverty in 2015 using the comprehensive Supplemental Poverty Measure. Only the refundable tax credits for working families (the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit) and SNAP (formerly foods stamps) lift more children out of poverty, as the chart shows.

Read More: Top 10 Facts about Social Security (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.