History of Social Security Disability

The story of Social Security began in 1935 when a report was issued to the President of the Committee on Economic Security. This preliminary report recognized the problems of earnings lost during periods of disability. Under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, this report became the Social Security Act and was signed into law as part of the New Deal—a response to the hardships of the Great Depression.

The Programs

For years, programs designed to assist Americans when they are unable to work developed and matured. In 1974, the House of Ways and Means Committee issued a comprehensive review of the disability programs under the Social Security Act. Today these programs include:

  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Old-Age and Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Unemployment Benefits

Social Security in its earliest form encompassed benefits for retirement, disability, survivorship, and death. Benefits for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a welfare program for the low income and disabled, were introduced in 1974.

The First Check

A retired widow named Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, was the first recipient of a Social Security retirement check. After paying into the Social Security program for three years, contributing a total of $24.75, she reached age 65 and received the very first check of the Social Security retirement program in 1940. Ms. Fuller lived to be 100 years old and collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.

Social Security Disability Today

The Social Security Administration (SSA) now faces serious challenges. According to the SSA’s Summary of the 2008 Annual Reports, in 2008 the annual cost of Social Security benefits represented 4.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 and is projected to increase to 6.2 percent of GDP in 2034, and then decline to about 5.8 percent of GDP by 2050 and remain at about that level. The administration is calling for reform to keep its programs alive.

Need SSD Benefits? We Can Help

When you’re disabled and can’t work, SSD benefits can make a huge difference in your life. However, the SSA sometimes makes it difficult for people to get approved for benefits. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, it’s our goal to help all disabled people get the benefits they deserve.

We know you may not have the money to pay for attorney’s fees, and that’s why we use the No Fee Guarantee®. It means you don’t owe us money unless we get benefits for you. Dial (800) 477-7315 or fill out our free online form to get in touch with our 24/7 legal staff today.


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