SocialSecurity was established in 1935 by the Social Security Act (Jimenez, 2015). Itis the most important of all the welfare programs (Jimenez, 2015)!Additionally, it is the largest social welfare program in the United States; eventhough it’s not really much a welfare program (Jimenez, 2015).
Instead, it’sintended to be more of an insurance type program for those in the workforce (Jimenez,2015). Through this program, funds are matched and distributed based on theearnings a worker made prior to retirement (Jimenez, 2015). The money thenremains in a trust fund and is paid out in the form of monthly penchants oncethe worker retires (Jimenez, 2015).Over90% of those who are retired in the United States receive some form of retirementpension under the social security act (Jimenez, 2015). Additionally, since apolicy change made in 1956, Social Security has also insured and paid workerswho have lost wages due to disability (Jimenez, 2015). 56 million people have receivedSocial Security according a survey conducted in 2012 (Jimenez, 2015). 75% ofthem were retired workers or widows and widowers over 65, whereas another 11million were disabled, and then there was another 2 million who receivedbenefits as survivors of deceased workers (Jimenez, 2015).
Itseems like the pretty ideal program, however, like any other social welfareprograms, many issues surround it it (Jimenez, 2015). For example, there is a lackof solvency, as well as “ethnic and gender disparities in terms of payouts, theincome cap on taxable wages, the use of the Social Security trust fund to paycurrent debts of the federal government, and the potential privatization ofSocial Security funds” (Jimenez, 2015).Social Security,however, was not intended to be the only source of support for retirees, butinstead, it was designed to supplement pensions and other savings belonging tothe retiree. (Jimenez, 2015). Because thereare still those whose still fall below the poverty line, even after social securitybenefits are disburse or who are ineligible for Social Security can receivecash grants through the program (Jimenez, 2015). SupplementalSecurity Income (SSI) was created by Congress in 1974 (Jimenez,2015). It replaced multiple programs, such as Old Age Assistance and Aid to theBlind and Totally Disabled (Jimenez, 2015).
Like socialsecurity income, supplemental security income is aimed to help low-income,retirement age workers and those with disabilities who are not eligible forgrants under Old Age Survivors and Disability insurance (OASDI) (Jimenez,2015). However, unlike Social Security Income, children under the age of 18 whoare single and unmarried and meet the income level and disability criteria arealso eligible (Jimenez, 2015). “It is fundedlargely by general revenue funds of the federal government and supplemented bysome states; there is reluctance by public officials to spend adequately forthose covered by SSI” (Jimenez, 2015). In 2012, 8.3million people received SSI benefits, however this number didn’t take intoaccount the dependents of disabled beneficiaries who are receiving benefits,approximately 25% of SSI recipients received benefits on the basis of age, 16%of which were disabled children under the age of 18, whereas another 75% weredisabled adults ages ranging from 18 – 64, and then there was 1% who were blind(Jimenez,2015). It seems that the numbers of disabled persons receiving benefits havebecome increasingly popular over the years and fewer of those receiving benefitsare 65 and older (Jimenez, 2015). There are otherrestrictions that may make one ineligible for benefits. These includeimmigrants who are not citizens who came to the country after August 1996 aswell as those disable due to accidents that included drugs and alcohol or drug (Jimenez,2015).
It does not matter the age, disability, or income (Jimenez,2015). The federal standard for SSI benefits is not aimed to bring individualsor families out of poverty. It’s simply a there to supplement social securityincome(Jimenez,2015). Both conservatives and liberals share common viewsabout the nature of the social order and policy in the United States, such as equalityand fairness, as well as the open social and economic structure that allows allindividuals to move up the economic ladder, however, they both hold two very differentviews when it comes to government involvement (Jimenez, 2015).Conservatives holdthe belief that social welfare policies make people less self-reliant and moreindependent of the government, whereas liberals are all for the governmenthelping out because they feel as if it is a safety net protecting the people ofthe United States (Jimenez, 2015).
Conservativesbelieve that government involvement has become excessive and more and morepeople have begun to rely on it, whereas liberals believe that the governmenthelps the market system perform better and also protect citizens from the greedof big business houses (Jimenez, 2015). Conservationson the other hand believe in a free market and think that together, the freemarket, competitive capitalism, an market enterprise create the greatest opportunitiesand standard of living (Jimenez, 2015). Overall, conservativeswish to limit government involvement, whereas liberals want to expand it.
Jimenez,Jillian. Social Policy and Social Change: Toward the Creation of Social andEconomic Justice, 2nd Edition. SAGE Publications, Inc, 2015. ArgosyUniversity.