Celebrating 85 Years of Social Security

August 14, 2020

85 years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act of 1935 into law. With President Roosevelt’s signature, our nation made a down payment on a core promise: that after a lifetime of hard work, every American deserves to age with dignity and economic security. 

FDR Signing the Social Security Act

1 in 5 Americans now relies solely on Social Security for income -- in our district alone, 157,497 people receive earned benefits. Existing Social Security Benefits ensure that many constituents have a roof over their heads and food to eat. Families accessing benefits feel that they are already too low, that any mismanagement in budget could put them on the street. Further jeopardizing these benefits would catastrophic. 

One of our constituents called our office early on in the pandemic because she is on Social Security, has multiple children, and is barely able to pay her bills each month. The pandemic meant that her bills were higher because her kids were home during the day and the family was using more food and utilities. She called our office because she was so worried that if she sought out additional benefits, like the Economic Impact Payment or food stamps, she would be penalized by the Social Security Administration and have her benefits reduced.  


Our staff was not only able to get an economic impact payment for her and her children, but we were also able to clarify with the Social Security Administration that she would not be penalized if she accessed a food stamp benefit. Our office connected her to county services who helped her apply for food benefits. When she received her Economic Impact Payment, she said it was “like Christmas Morning." 
Social Security was born 85 years ago as our country was reeling from the Great Depression. Today, too many older Americans are taking the brunt of the current public health and economic crisis we are facing. Worse yet, President Trump has proposed a change to the payroll tax system that will jeopardize the Social Security Trust Fund and risk taking away these hard-earned and reliable benefits.  
I have a solution to safeguard Social Security and make it sustainable for future generations: the Social Security 2100 Act. It has more than 200 original cosponsors and has been endorsed by more than 30 leading seniors’ groups. This bill would:  

  • increase benefits for all current and future beneficiaries,  
  • institute an improved cost-of-living adjustment,  
  • cut taxes for millions of beneficiaries, and  
  • ensure Social Security remains solvent through the end of the century.

Please join me in celebrating this important part of the American safety net. We cannot pull the rug out from under our nation’s seniors, families, veterans, and the millions of others that depend on these earned benefits.