80 years of Social Security


By Tonie Garcia

Social Security District Manager in Portsmouth, OH

Social Security has provided critical financial help to people of all ages for the last 80 years, and despite our age, we’re far from retiring! As the Social Security program celebrates its historic birthday this August, we’re reflecting on our diverse history, our current strengths, and ways we can continue to improve our services to you.

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. In doing so, he promised the law would protect “the average citizen and his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.” Today, we continue to provide financial security for our country’s most vulnerable citizens. In fact, Social Security provides world-class service to millions of people every day — online, on the phone, and in our network of field offices across the country.

As we celebrate 80 years, we’re proud to present our “Celebrating the Past and Building the Future” anniversary website. There, you can read 80 interesting facts about an agency that touches everyone’s life at some point or another! For example, did you know the original name of the Social Security Act was the Economic Security Act?

The anniversary website also includes a timeline of our history. It begins with the signing of the Act in 1935 and ends with this year’s announcement of Vision 2025, our bold vision that will guide the agency as we work to meet the future customer service needs of the public. A memorable spot on the timeline is November 2, 2000, the date when we started taking retirement claims online.

Since our agency’s beginning, we’ve relied on our passionate and hard-working employees to face challenges and provide exceptional service. Throughout the 80 days leading up to our anniversary, we’ve been posting employee testimonials that answer the question, “Why do you serve?” We also invited you to share your story with us. You can tell us how Social Security has made a difference in your life and/or the lives of your family and friends. We would love to hear from you, the people we serve every day.

When the Social Security program started 80 years ago, our goal was to provide an economic lifeline for people in need. Today, Social Security continues to protect millions of people. Join us in commemorating this significant milestone! Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/80thanniversary.

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