Little Known Facts about Social Security

Annie69 By Annie69, 18th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>History

Social Security has been around since 1935. Here are a few facts about its beginning. (Original column appeared in the Boonville Daily News on May 3, 2012.)

Social Security becomes law and goes into effect

President Franklin D. Roosevelt first mentioned his intention to provide a Social Security program on June 8, 1934.

Passed by both Houses of Congress, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935.

Social Security would be administered by a Social Security Board (SSB) of three appointed by the President. The first three were John G. Winant, Chairman; Arthur J. Altmeyer; and Vincent M. Miles. The SSB was abolished in 1946 and replaced by the Social Security Administration.

The new agency contracted with the Post Office Department to distribute the application forms workers and employers needed to get registered with Social Security. Numbers were assigned at the local level then forwarded to Baltimore where an account would be set up.

The First Applicants

The first Social Security card was issued to John David Sweeney, Jr. of New Rochelle, New York. Sweeney did not, however, receive the smallest number ever issued.

Grace Dorothy Owen of Concord, New Hampshire, applied for her Social Security number on November 24, 1936, and was assigned the smallest number ever issued--001-01-0001.

Collection of Social Security taxes began in January 1937. Originally, monthly retirement payments were to start in 1942, but a 1939 amendment changed the start date to January 1940.

The First Recipients

Ida May Fuller, of Ludlow, Vermont, was the first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit from Social Security. She filed her claim on November 4, 1939, and received check #00-000-001 which was dated January 31, 1049, for $22.54.

Between 1937 and 1940, Social Security made lumps-sum payments to those who had paid in but wouldn't be in the program long enough to be vested for monthly benefits. Ernest Ackerman, a retired motorman from Cleveland, was the first to receive a lump-sum payment from Social Security. Ackerman retired one day after Social Security began and 5 cents had been withheld from his pay. His lump-sum payment was 17 cents.

The smallest lump-sum payment made was 5 cents. Records don't indicate who the recipient was or if more than one such payment was made.


President Fdr, Social Security

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author avatar Annie69
History column appears weekly in local newspaper. Also news, human interest, and pictures. My fiction and poems have appeared in literary anthologies and I've written 3 novels

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author avatar Chip Greene
19th Jul 2014 (#)

Lump sum payments by Social Security have certainly gone up since 1934. I know because I received one.

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author avatar Annie69
19th Jul 2014 (#)

Haven't they though. But then more people have paid in more money since then, too.
Thanks for reading.

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