A Message from Acting Commissioner Colvin

As we reflect on the 79th anniversary of Social Security, let’s remember Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous words upon signing the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935:

“Today, a hope of many years’ standing is in large part fulfilled… We have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”

Seventy-nine years later, we continue to support President Roosevelt’s vision of hope and protection for the most vulnerable members of the American public through our efforts each and every day. As I reflect on our rich history, I am deeply honored to be a part of such a great organization with employees who truly embody the spirit of passionate public service. There is nothing more rewarding than making a difference in the lives of others. With our collective renewed commitment, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

Happy 79th anniversary SSA!

Social Security History

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Did You Know?

The first person to get Social Security benefits was Ernest Ackerman. He received a payment for 17 cents in January 1937. This was a one-time, lump-sum pay-out--which was the only form of benefits paid during the start-up period January 1937 through December 1939.

Did You Know?

The Social Security Act was signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on 8/14/35. 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.

Did You Know?

President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law a provision allowing early retirement at age 62--but only for women. In 1961, President Kennedy signed Amendments which extended this option to men as well.

Did You Know?

Did you know that COLAs (cost-of-living adjustments) were first paid in 1975 as a result of a 1972 law? Before that, benefits were increased only when Congress enacted special legislation

Voice of Our Customers

"My life is great because of the Social Security Administration!"
- Kevin

"I found it easy and worthwhile to complete my request on line. I received a phone call in a few days to clarify my request and I feel they acted in a perfectly professional and competent way to complete my request. If there are issues I feel I need to handle personally, I will make an appointment to speak with a professional. Thank you Social Security for working with me every step of the way." - Ron

"Even though my mom worked, before and after my dad died, SSA benefits made it possible for her to support two young children." - anonymous

79th Anniversary Timeline