Despite the fact that millions of people collect its benefits each year, few know the history of Social Security and how it came to be. While certainly not the most exciting topic, Social Security has an important past and has grown into an invaluable source of financial support for countless American citizens. Take a look at the following interesting facts about Social Security!
- Humble beginnings: In January 1940, Ida May Fuller of Rutland, Vermont became the first person to receive Social Security. The check was for a whopping $22.54.
- Far reaching impact: Social Security helps far more people than many of us realize. While many middle or upper class earners have considerable savings or pension plans that they rely on during their golden years, most Americans will rely on Social Security for a large portion, if not all, of their retirement income. According to 2014 calculations by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is estimated that roughly 35% of beneficiaries will depend on social security for more than 90 percent of their income after reaching retirement age.
- Benefits have increased: Ida May’s first benefit check, when adjusted into today’s inflated amounts, was worth roughly $4,650 per year. In other words, it wasn’t much. Now, beneficiaries receive about four times as much per year, or $16,000.
- Not just for the elderly: Although Social Security may indeed have been created with retirees in mind, it is now available to a much wider group. While 52% of Social Security payments are paid to retired workers, nearly 15% is paid to permanently disabled workers. The remaining 33% is paid to survivors and dependents of recipients, which includes spouses and sometimes children. Surprisingly, 20% of beneficiaries are under the age of 62, the official age for claiming Social Security based on working years.
- The future is unclear: Financial analysts, politicians, economists, people nearing retirement, and new workers entering the workforce are worried about the future of the program, and for good reason. According to data collected in 1955, it is estimated that there were roughly 9 workers contributing to Social Security for every 1 person collecting its benefits. Now, that ratio has dropped to below 3:1, with population trends suggesting that this could be 2:1 by the year 2030. Unfortunately, the only foreseeable fix for this problem is to either take more from people’s wages or cut benefits by a substantial amount.
Why Are These Facts Important?
Aside from being some tasty tidbits of trivia, these facts display the often-unrealized importance of Social Security and the complications of the system. Unfortunately, receiving the benefits that this program offers can be much easier said than done, with roughly 3 out of 5 applicants being initially denied. At Disability Action Advocates, our Reno Social Security Disability representatives can help take the guesswork out of your application and maximize your chances of securing the results you need. We have helped thousands. Call (888) 401-3920 or contact our office online today.