Millions of Americans benefit from the Social Security Administration, or SSA. But when did the administration begin, and why? Before it was the Social Security Administration, it was the Social Security Board, and it was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. Upon its creation, it had no staff, location or facilities and no budget. It soon was given three appointed executives and began to hire staff. In 1946, it was formally renamed the Social Security Administration by the President’s Reorganization Plan of 1946.
In April 1953, President Eisenhower made the SSA part of his new cabinet agency along with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. It took until 1995, under President Clinton, for the agency to become an independent agency once again, signing legislation in August 15, 1994, a day after the agency’s 59th birthday.
In 1965, specific program bureaus were established, including the Health Insurance Program which would eventually become Medicare, as well as four program Bureaus including the Retirement and Survivors Insurance, Health Insurance, Federal Credit Unions and Disability Insurance. It would take another eight years for the Supplementary Security Income program to become established, created in 1973.
The Social Security Administration continues to play an important role protecting and helping Americans who are dealing with debilitating injuries, illnesses and mental conditions which prohibit them from work. The Social Security Disability Insurance program as well as the Supplemental Insurance Income program both aid Americans by offering financial support to those who cannot work, those who are legally blind, and for disabled children living in the United States.
Source: Social Security Administration “Social Security History,” Accessed Jan. 19, 2016