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Social Security Policy Analysis

Social Security Policy Analysis

The United States experienced large advancements in the 20th century. Society saw exponential growth in technology and population, and with the social changes that occurred following the Depression, and the increasing industrialization, the need for social insurance was quickly realized. The need for social security arose out of the great depression and its effects on the American people. The move from rural to urban areas created a lack of jobs, and in preindustrial America, most people lived on the land and could thus provide their own subsistence; they were self-employed as farmers, laborers, or craftsmen, and they lived in extended families that provided the main form of economic security for family members who could not work. For example, in 1880, America was still 72 percent rural and only 28 percent urban. In only 50 years, that portrait changed; in 1930, we were 56 percent urban and only 44 percent rural (Dewitt, 2010). Before the Social Security Act, most social assistance plans in America were dependent on the government, charities, and private citizens doling out money to people in need. The need for social security arose out of the great depression and its effects on the American people. The poor houses and other relief agencies that existed at the time to assist people who had fallen on hard times were financed mainly from charity and local funds. They could not begin–either financially or conceptually–to respond adequately to the special needs of the aged brought about by the cataclysmic events of the Depression. The scope of this problem was large and affected not only the elderly but the young and middle age persons seeking to make a living and provide for their families. Those during the great depression were affected the most, but the creation of the Social Security Act of 1935 was meant to address the problem of economic security in a modern industrialized society.

The creation of the Social Security Act of 1935, signed into law on August 14, 1935, was meant to help those in times of disability, unemployment, and retirement, and with the implementation of other provisions that provide immediate relief to families. Social Security is the largest program in the United States and accounts for 20% of federal spending (Theodoulou, 2012). Any working citizen is impacted by the program, as well as any disabled workers and family members. It is a social insurance program with shared participation and benefits available for all working citizens. The eligibility to receive these benefits can be confusing and hard to understand, but in general, four basic categories of Social Security benefits are paid based on the record of your earnings: retirement, disability, dependents, and survivors’ benefits. These benefits all fall under the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI) (Laurence, 2018).

The goal of the program is to reduce poverty and provide assistance to the disadvantaged and provide economic stability after retirement or if they become disabled. The policymaker’s intentions were to institute a program to create a social program that gave provisions for the general welfare; the new Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare. This program is administered through the government in the form of monthly allocations of money and is funded by the taxation of workers’ wages. The Social Security program has been successful in reducing poverty and providing assistance to the disadvantaged. Studies have shown the public to be in support of America’s social insurance.

The goals, implementation, funding, and eligibility requirements of this program all have issues that are in need of reform. Yet, it does help millions of people, and the good outweighs the bad in all it is a program that is needed.

The success of the policy from both political perspectives, conservative and liberal, conflict with each other due to differences in values. Liberals hold the belief that the Social Security system should be protected at all costs. Reduction in future benefits is not a reasonable option, and Social Security provides a safety net for the nation’s poor and needy. The conservatives believe that the Social Security system is in serious financial trouble and that major changes to the current system are urgently needed. In its current state, the Social Security system is not financially sustainable. The financial strain and effectiveness of this policy put a strain on the future of funds available to those who need them in the future. The government is continuously borrowing from the fund with no real plan to pay it back.

On June 8, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a message to Congress, announced his intention to provide a program for Social Security. Their political perspective was to create a program that would satisfy both the public and government needs. Subsequently, the Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. This program did not achieve all that it set out to; it did not help all those in need because of eligibility requirements or bring those in poverty to a suitable standard of living. It did achieve bringing awareness to the need for such programs and the demand for continuous change to it. Recipients of the program are generally grateful but feel that the monies they contributed through years of hard work are not being returned to them and they have a fear of funds running out.

In conclusion, the Social Security Act has helped millions and brought about social awareness needed to address social injustices that prevent our country from having the protections of economic stability in matters of old age, disability, and inability to acquire savings for retirement. Continued conversations and changes are needed to correct these problems to ensure our country’s citizens’ economic stability.


Dewitt, L. (2010). The Development of Social Security in America. Retrieved from

Theodoulou, S. Z. (2012). The policy game: Understanding U.S. public policy making. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Laurence, B. (2018). Social Security Benefits: Retirement, Disability, Dependents, and Survivors (OASDI). Retrieved from benefits-retirement-disability-29989.html


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Choose a social justice problem that addresses the needs of a specific population or subgroup that interests you. To find scholarly research about your topics, use the Capella University Library; government, educational, and organizational websites; and the United States Congress website, Refer to the SWK5002 library research guide, Social Policy Research Tutorial, for assistance in doing policy research and locating resources.

Social Security Policy Analysis

Social Security Policy Analysis

Analyze the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination of your chosen population or subgroup that exist within this social justice topic (for example, race, religion, disabilities, gender orientation, socioeconomic status, or access to services).

In your analysis, describe how the oppression and discrimination impacted this population.

Analyze ethical problems associated with your selected social justice problem.

Use the NASW Code of Ethics Web page to guide your analysis:

What ethical considerations in your selected social justice problem must be addressed?

What are the implications for social work practice and positive client outcomes?

Describe the current enacted policies for this social justice problem.

Research current enacted policies that seek to address this social justice problem. These policies must be passed legislation currently in practice. Legislation can be at the federal or state level, but ultimately your course project will require you to select a federal policy.

Analyze how effective these policies are in addressing the needs of your chosen population or subgroup.

Do the policies effectively address the social justice problem? Provide a rationale that includes scholarly, peer-reviewed research.

Assess the impact these policies have had on your selected population or subgroup.

What policy constraints exist for this population?

Compare advocacy methods for the selected social justice problem.

What are the strengths and challenges of the advocacy methods? What additional steps could be taken to address the challenges?

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