The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits.
Social Security has provided financial protection for our nation's people for over 80 years. With retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, Social Security is one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our nation's history.
The SSA is passionate about supporting citizens by delivering financial support, providing superior customer service, and ensuring the safety and security of your information.
Social Security is committed to helping maintain the basic well-being and protection of the people they serve. They pay benefits to over 60 million people including retirees, children, widows, and widowers. From birth, to marriage, and into retirement, they provide support throughout life's journey.
The Social Security Act was signed by FDR on August 14, 1935. Taxes were collected for the first time in January 1937 and the first one-time, lump-sum payments were made that same month. Regular ongoing monthly benefits started in January 1940. Under the 1935 law, what we now think of as Social Security only paid retirement benefits to the primary worker. A 1939 change in the law added survivor’s benefits and benefits for the retiree's spouse and children. In 1956 disability benefits were added.