Understanding Social Security

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Social Security benefits have been a foundational element of the Nation’s economic security system for the last 78 years.  In his statement at the signing of the Social Security Act (the Act) in 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt noted that the Act is a “law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family…against poverty-ridden old age.”  Since the Act was signed, Social Security has expanded to provide income security to groups other than just retirees.  Today, Social Security provides benefits to retired workers, disabled workers, and survivors of deceased workers.  The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program also provides supplemental income to aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income (the SSI program is funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes).  Click on the links below to learn more about each of these programs.