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Social Security Act of (1935)

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The Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 301 et seq.), designed to assist in the maintenance of the financial well-being of eligible persons, was enacted in 1935 as part of President FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT's NEW DEAL.

In the United States, SOCIAL SECURITY did not exist on the federal level until the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. This statute provided for a federal program of old-age retirement benefits and a joint federal-state venture of UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION. In addition, it dispensed federal funds to aid the development at the state level of such programs as vocational rehabilitation, public health services, and child welfare services, along with assistance to the elderly and the handicapped. The act instituted a system of mandatory old-age insurance, issuing benefits in proportion to the previous earnings of persons over sixty-five and establishing a reserve fund financed through the imposition of payroll taxes on employers and employees. The original levy was 1 percent, but the rate has increased over the years. Only employees in industrial and commercial occupations were eligible for protection under the Social Security Act of 1935, but numerous important amendments have expanded the categories of coverage.

CROSS-REFERENCES

Medicare.

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