Research Notes & Special Studies by the Historian's Office

The SSA Historian's Office receives many requests for research assistance on topics related to the history of Social Security. A few of these requests are frequent enough that it is worthwhile to summarize the answers for broader use. These frequent research topics are addressed in a set of brief Research Notes and longer Special Studies.

Research Notes

Research Note #1 Origins of the "Three-Legged Stool" Metaphor
Research Note #2 The History & Development of the Lump Sum Death Benefit
Research Note #3 Detail of Ida May Fuller's Payroll Tax Contributions
Research Note #4 Inter-Fund Borrowing Among the Trust Funds
Research Note #5 Locations Involving Early Social Security History
Research Note #6 Early Automation Challenges for SSA
Research Note #7 Brief Legislative History of the Retirement Test
Research Note #8 The Special Role of the University of Wisconsin in the History of Social Security
Research Note #9 The Clark Amendment to the 1935 Social Security Act
Research Note #10 How the First Social Security Office Came to be in Austin, Texas
Research Note #11 The History of Social Security "Student" Benefits
Research Note #12 The Taxation of Social Security Benefits
Research Note #13 Listing of Social Security Advisory Councils & Commissions
Research Note #14 Key Data From Annual Trust Fund Reports
Research Note #15 The Roosevelt Administration's Proposal for Voluntary Annuities
Research Note #16 Summary of Major Benefits Under The Social Security Program
Research Note #17 The Townsend Plan's Pension Scheme
Research Note #18: Social Security Legislation and Related Events During the Administration of President George H. W. Bush
Research Note #19: Social Security Benefits as a Percentage of Total Federal Budget Expenditures
Research Note #20: The Social Security Trust Funds and the Federal Budget
Research Note #21: The Original Actuarial Projections for the Social Security Act of 1935
Research Note #22: Locations of Signings of Social Security-Related Legislation
Research Note #23: Luther Gulick Memorandum re: Famous FDR Quote
Research Note #24: Origins of the term "Social Security"


Special Studies

Special Study #1 Abe Bortz Lecture on the History of Social Security (late 1970s)
Special Study #2 Professor Theron Schlabach's Book "Rationality and Welfare" (September 1969)
Special Study #3 Review of Biography of Wilbur Cohen (Spring 1996)
Special Study #4 Civilian War Benefits Program (1997)
Special Study #5 The 1937 Supreme Court Rulings on the Social Security Act (1999)
Special Study #6 John G. Winant: First Chairman of the Social Security Board (May 1999)
Special Study #7 The History and Development of the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test (August 1999)
Special Study #8 Foreign Social Security Developments Prior to the Social Security Act, by Lillian Liu (December 2001)
Special Study #9 A History of the Social Security Disability Listings, by Dr. Alan Cowles (March 2005)