A Simple Overview of Social Security

A Simple Overview of Social Security

If you’re a US Citizen born in the last 80 years or so, you have a social security number and card. If you’re a working American, you also see social security withholdings in your paychecks. Most people are aware of social security, but many don’t know exactly what it is or what it does. Here is an overview of the program.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935 as part of his “new deal” initiative to fight back after the Great Depression. Social security benefits Wyckoff nj were signed into law after being amended and debated thoroughly and have been in place ever since.

What Social Security is Designed to Do

Social security is part of a “safety net” designed to help Americans who are elderly, disabled, or below the poverty line. The paycheck withholdings “pay in” to the system so that when working Americans retire at the age of 65, they can collect social security to have guaranteed income in retirement. This initiative also includes Medicare which helps provide health insurance for retirees, and Medicaid, which supports people with disabilities and low-income Americans.


While most agree that Social Security is a noble and useful government initiative, some critics feel it is an overreach of the federal government’s authority and that individuals should be responsible for their own healthcare and retirement. Some advocate that citizens should be allowed to opt out and not pay in. Others are concerned that the government has borrowed from Social Security and that the funds will one day be bankrupt. There are also ethical concerns about states that privatize Medicaid to for-profit companies.

Despite these concerns and some bumps in the road, Social Security is a robust government program that has helped countless citizens for nearly a century. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, it adopts in the coming decades.