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Welfare Programs

Social Security

Although many Americans believe that welfare benefits to mothers and children were among the most costly and widely used welfare programs, in truth the biggest expenditures were funneled toward the Social Security program, developed in 1935. The Social Security Act (SSA) was targeted at several groups, including the elderly, the totally disabled, and families with children of deceased workers. Social Security was considered to be a universal program, in the sense that it was to provide coverage for all working Americans, as it continues to do. With this program, benefits were paid to individuals retiring from work at a preset age. The amount of benefits received was directly tied to the amount of money a person earned during her work history. Furthermore, if an adult or a child were deemed to have a significant disability that prevented the individual from working, then benefits would be paid to that individual through the Social Security Disability Income program, in the case of an adult, or the Supplemental Security Income program, in the case of a child. Finally, if a working parent were to die, then a specified amount of benefits would be paid to the surviving family. The Social Security program continues to provide benefits in this fashion, although it has been a source of some controversy, particularly because all individuals are entitled to these benefits, regardless of how much money they have or earn.

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 8Welfare Programs - Early History Of Welfare In The United States, Social Security, Employment Programs, Aid To Families With Dependent Children - Conclusion