If you look into the history of just about any organization or program, you will find some interesting facts and trivia. Even Social Security, a governmental program most people would choose to avoid, has its fair share of intriguing tidbits. Take a look at this compiled list of the top interesting facts about the country’s Social Security program to surprise the guests at your next dinner party.
- Ida May Fuller: Everything, great or small, starts with a humble beginning. Back in January of 1940, Ida May Fuller became the first person to receive a Social Security check, marking the start of an important government program that we all rely on today, in one way or another.
- Impact: It is hard to realize the importance of Social Security if you do not depend on it. To put things into perspective, about 33% of beneficiaries will depend on Social Security for more than 90% of the income they receive after they reach retirement age.
- Increase: If you were to ask Ida May Fuller how much she received from Social Security on average in a year, and she knew how to calculate for inflation nearly a century later, she would tell you that she got a little more than $4,600 in today’s currency. This is a nice way of saying, “Not much.” The amount the typical beneficiary receives from Social Security today is roughly four-times as much, or around $16,000. With this information, it is clear to see why some people advocate for an increase to SSD benefits.
- Recipients: Social Security may have first come about to help retirees enjoy their golden years but it quickly expanded to aid others in need. Today, about 52% of Social Security is paid out to retired workers, 15% goes to workers who have been permanently disabled, and the last 33% goes to survivors and dependents of recipients. Surprisingly, about 20% of beneficiaries are under 62 years old due to dependent benefits.
- Decrease: Where Social Security will be in 20-odd years from now has been a pretty big concern for financial analysts, economists, people nearing retirement, and people just entering the workforce. Using data collected in 1955, it is believed that there were close to 9 workers putting money into Social Security through their taxes for every 1 beneficiary that needed the program. Today, that 9:1 ratio has plummeted below 3:1; the population trend suggests that by 2030, it will be 2:1. There are only two ways to correct this decrease in workers-compared-to-beneficiaries: take much more from peoples’ wages or give significantly less to beneficiaries.
What the Trivia Tells Us
Other than imparting some interesting wisdom on you, the reader, the aforementioned five Social Security facts tell us about the importance of the program, how many people it actually affects, and how complicated it can become when all things are considered. The system can be so overwhelming, it is estimated that at least 3 out of every 5 people who file for Social Security on their own will be initially denied, with a smaller number successfully appealing or refiling. If Social Security claims are something you need to be concerned about soon, allow Disability Action Advocates and our Las Vegas Social Security Disability representatives to help you navigate the procedure from start to finish.