U.S. Social Security Act of 1935

| March 10, 2020

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History Paper

21 March 2016.

The U.S social security Act of 1935 was landmark welfare legislation passed during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The act came into being after the Great Depression that happened in the United States from 1929. The great depression had far-reaching economic and social consequences, one of them being the loss of most Americans’ life-time savings. This was especially painful for old people who could not go back to the workforce due to their age and lack of jobs. Most of them were looking at a situation where they would spend the rest of their lives destitute having lost all their savings. Due to this problem, there was pressure from the general public and the U.S. Congress for the federal government to act and remedy the situation.


The Federal government led by President Roosevelt established a committee chaired by the Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins. The main work of the committee was to develop a framework to prevent the major causes of economic insecurity. It came up with a proposal that called for mandatory contribution for old-age insurance by workers through payroll taxes. The scheme then only applied to workers in industry and commerce. According to the system created by the Act, contributions were made by both employers and the employees. The workers would then receive monthly financial benefits upon attaining the age of 65 years. The Act passed its first test of constitutionality in 1937 when the Supreme Court declared it constitutional. The Act has since evolved and expanded to cover more workers, their dependents, and the disabled. Benefits paid under the system are an important social safety net for U.S. employees because they guarantee them a life of dignity even after retirement or disability.

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