Imagine yourself as an elderly American in the early 1930s. You live with your daughter’s family on her farm but then the normally abundant crops begin to die due to drought conditions. Your daughter is struggling to take care of her own children and fears she cannot care for you any longer. The support system you thought you had—your family—crumbles. Where do you look for help?
The U.S. Social Security Act of 1935 was created during the Great Depression to be a safety net for older people in such situations. In this Discussion, you examine the Social Security Act and the populations it assisted in the 1930s and today.
- Identify two reasons why the U.S. Social Security Act (1935) was developed.
- Explain the requirements for older adults receiving social security benefits (e.g., age requirements, marital status).
- Compare the needs of the populations served in 1935 and older adults today.
- Stern, M.J., & Axinn, J. (2018). Social welfare: A history of American response to need (9th ed.). Pearson Education.
- Chapter 6, “The Depression and New Deal: 1930-1940” (pp.156-195)
- Beland, D. (2007). Ideas and institutional change in Social Security: Conversion, layering, and policy drift Links to an external site.. Social Science Quarterly, 88(1), 20–38.
- Gonyea, J., & Hooyman, N. (2005). Reducing poverty among older women: Social Security reform and gender equity Links to an external site.. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 86(3), 338–346.
- Shinn, M., Gottlieb, J., Wett, J. L., Bahl, A., Cohen, A., & Ellis, D. B. (2007). Predictors of homelessness among older adults in New York city: Disability, economic, human and social capital and stressful events Links to an external site.. Journal of Health Psychology, 12(5), 696–708.
- U.S. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Compilation of the Social Security laws Links to an external site.. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/ssact-toc.htm