1600s - 1800s
January 1, 1950 A new plan
for collecting taxes due under the Federal Insurance Contributions
Act and under the income tax withholding provisions of the Internal
Revenue Code became effective. The plan provided for consolidating
the two collections and utilized a new form--Form 941-replacing
Forms SS-LA, the Social Security reporting form and Form W-1 which
had been used for reporting income taxes withheld from wages.
January 1, 1950 The old age and survivors insurance contributions rates were increased to 1.5 percent each for employers and employees.
January 9, 1950 In his Budget Message, President Truman called upon Congress to complete action on the Social Security Bill (H.R. 6000) and repeated, essentially, the same requests he had made in 1948 and 1949.
February 6, 1950 The Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands filed a report recommending inclusion of those territories in the insurance and assistance programs.
April 19, 1950 The act for the rehabilitation of the Navajo and Hopi tribes of Indians, which included a provision to increase the Federal participation in public assistance payments, was approved.
April 21, 1950 A hearing was held on H.R. 7873 which would authorize the construction of a building costing $11,500,000 for the Baltimore offices of the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance.
May 12, 1950 The House Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds considered H. R. 7873 in executive session but took no action pending further study of building sites.
May 31, 1950 President Truman submitted to the Congress Reorganization Plan No. 27 of 1950, providing for the establishment of a new Department of Health, Education, and Security.
July 10, 1950 The House adopted a resolution killing President Truman's Reorganization Plan No. 27, which proposed to elevate the Federal Security Agency into a Cabinet-level Department of Health, Education, and Security.
August 13, 1950 A National Conference on Aging was convened by the Federal Security Agency in Washington, D.C.
August 28, 1950 The President signed the 1950 Social Security Amendments. This legislation extended coverage under the old-age and survivors insurance program to about 10 million more persons; it liberalized the eligibility conditions; it improved the retirement test; it provided wage credits of $160 a month for military service from September 1940 to July 1947; it increased benefits substantially; it raised the wage base for tax and benefit computation purposes; it provided a new contribution schedule; and it eliminated the 1944 provision authorizing appropriations to the trust fund from the General Treasury.
September 1950 Benefits began to be paid to the dependent widower, dependent husband, wife under 65 with a child in her care, and to a divorced wife.
October 1, 1950 The establishment of the new category of State aid to the permanently and totally disabled was made effective.
December 3-7, 1950 The Mid-century White House Conference on Children and Youth was held in Washington.
January 1, 1951 The old age and survivors insurance contribution rate of 2.25 percent of earnings became effective for all self-employed. The new old age and survivors insurance payroll tax wage base of $3,600 also went into effect.
October 30, 1951 The Railroad Retirement Act was amended to further extend coordination of the railroad retirement and old age and survivors insurance programs by providing for the transfer to old age and survivors insurance of wage records of workers who died or retired with less than 10 years of railroad employment, and also provide for financial interchanges between the systems so that the old age and survivors insurance trust fund would be placed in the same position it would have been in if railroad employment had always been covered under old age and survivors insurance; and to reduce the retirement annuities for persons also getting old age benefits under old age and survivors insurance, if service before 1937 was used in computing the railroad annuity.
December 29, 1951 President Truman created, by executive order, the President's Commission on the Health Needs of the Nation. The Commission was to determine the Nation's total health requirements, both immediate and long term, and to recommend courses of action to meet those needs.
1951 During the year, the first Social Security Administration Cooperative Point IV projects was begun in Egypt, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Mexico and Panama.
February 26, 1952 Federal Security Administrator Oscar Ewing proposed a substitute health insurance measure limited to the payment, through the Social Security system, of hospital coats for retired beneficiaries and their dependents as a step toward a larger goal.
April 10, 1952 Senators Murray and Humphrey and Representatives Dingell and Celler, introduced bills embodying the beneficiaries idea. No congressional action was taken.
April 17, 1952 Supervision fees paid by Federal credit unions to the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions were increased under the terms of Public Law 322.
April 1952 The Social Security Administration's Annual Report (1951) recommended health insurance for beneficiaries.
May 15, 1952 Public Law 343 was signed. It increased unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad workers by 30% to 60%--financed by a payroll levy on the railroads.
May 23, 1952 Legislation was approved increasing veteran's compensation and pension rates--effective July 1952.
June 28, 1952 The Social Security Act was amended by Public Law 420, which extended for another year the time within which State Governments could make agreements that were retroactive to January 1, 1951, for old-age and survivors insurance coverage of State and local Government employees.
July 16, 1952 The Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act was approved. It included provisions for unemployment compensation for veterans under a uniform Federal formula but subject to State availability and disqualification provisions.
July 18, 1952 The Social Security Act of 1952 was signed into law by President Truman. It increased benefits under the old-age and survivors insurance program. It also extended the period of wage credits for military service through December 31, 1953; it liberalized the retirement test and raised the retirement test from $50 to $75 a month. Finally it changed, for a two year period, the grant formula for public assistance payments to make additional funds available to the States.
November 25, 1952 President-elect Eisenhower names Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby of Houston, Texas, to succeed Oscar R. Ewing as the Federal Security Administrator.
December 30, 1952 The appointment of Robert M. Ball as Deputy Bureau Director became effective.
1952 The Advisory Committee on International Activities was established by the Social Security Commissioner to obtain the views of national organizations on developing the Social Security Administration's cooperation in international social welfare.
January 21, 1953 Oveta Culp Hobby took office as Administrator of the Federal Security Agency.
February 2, 1953 President Eisenhower, in his State of the Union Message, recommended that the "old-age and survivors insurance law should promptly be extended to cover millions of citizens who have been left out of the Social Security system."
February 20, 1953 The House Ways and Means Committee set up a special subcommittee to handle Social Security bills. Chairman Carl Curtis ((R-NB)), named to head the subcommittee, said a broad survey was planned which would preclude any action on Social Security in 1953.
April 10, 1953 Arthur J. Altmeyer left the office as Commissioner for Social Security His position was abolished under Reorganization Plan No. 1.
April 11, 1953 Reorganization Plan No. 1 abolished the Federal Security Agency and transferred all its powers and functions to a new Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
April 11, 1953 Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby was sworn in as the Secretary of the new Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
May 13,1953 Oscar Pogge announced his resignation as the Director of the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, effective May 22.
May 20,1953 In his budget message, President Eisenhower requested a one-year postponement of the increase in the payroll tax to four percent scheduled for 1954. No action was taken on the request.
May 1953 With approval of Nevada's plan for aid to the blind, all 53 jurisdictions were administering such programs.
June 24, 1953 A group of consultants on Social Security, appointed by Secretary Hobby, submitted a report on the extension of coverage of old-age and survivors insurance. They limited their recommendations to the subject of extending the coverage of the insurance system to new groups.
June 1953 Congress appropriated $1,500,000 for plans, specifications, and purchase of land for a new Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance building.
July 1, 1953 As of this date, the provision to institute the disability "freeze" provided for in the 1952 Amendments to the Social Security Act expired, with the failure of Congress to approve the provision.
August 1, 1953 President Eisenhower submitted a special message to Congress, recommending that additional groups be covered by old-age and survivors insurance.
August 5, 1953 The Federal Unemployment Tax Act to cover Federal seamen under unemployment insurance was enacted.
August 14, 1953 An amendment was passed providing that old-age and survivors insurance wage credits of $160 a month be provided for active military service performed after 1953 and before July 1, 1955.
August 15, 1953 The President signed Public Law 279 authorizing Wisconsin to make an agreement with the Secretary to give old-age and survivors insurance coverage to employees of the State and its political subdivisions even though such employees were covered by a State or local Government retirement plan.
October 26, 1953 The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare announced that due to a lack of funds to operate ten regional offices, its Cleveland Regional Office would be closed and its functions transferred to other Regions. The Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance maintained Bureau personnel in Cleveland to service the field offices in Michigan and Ohio.
November 10, 1953 John W. Tramburg was named to be the Commissioner of Social Security. He took the oath of office on November 24, 1953.
January 1, 1954 Old-age and survivors insurance contribution rates increased to two percent each for employers and employees and three percent for the self-employed.
January 14, 1954 The President transmitted to Congress a special message recommending important changes in the Federal old-age and survivors insurance system and the Federal program of grants-in-aid for public assistance.
January 18, 1954 President Eisenhower, with the objective of enabling private insurance companies to broaden their coverage, proposed a plan of Federal reinsurance for any private company as protection against heavy losses resulting from health insurance. After the first five years, the program would become self-financing with funds derived from premiums paid by the insurance companies.
February 8, 1954 Victor Christgau was sworn in as the new Director of the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance.
April 1954 Robert M. Ball was appointed the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance.
June 16, 1954 The Railroad Retirement Act was amended by repealing the 1951 provision barring dual receipt of benefits under that program and under old-age and survivors insurance if service before 1937 was used in computing the railroad annuity.
July 12, 1954 Public Law 482 was signed into law. The bill enacted portions of President Eisenhower's health program, increasing and expanding Federal aid for hospital construction to include hospitals for the chronically ill, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment facilities and rehabilitation facilities.
July 19, 1954 A new designation for the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance's offices was approved; from "Field Office," "Field Office Manager," and "Assistant Field Office Manager," to "District Office," "District Manager," and "Assistant District Manager."
July 19, 1954 John W. Tramburg resigned as Commissioner Of Social Security. Charles I. Schottland was named to succeed him.
July 22, 1954 An amendment to a Supplemental Appropriation Bill was accepted by the House. The amendment, made by Samuel N. Friedel (D-MD), barred the use of funds available to the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance to transfer about 450 employees from Baltimore, Maryland, to Washington, D.C. This was intended to be a part of the process of moving the Bureau headquarters to Washington, D.C.
August 3, 1954 The Vocational Rehabilitation Act was amended to call for cooperation of Vocational Rehabilitation agencies with State public assistance agencies, the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and other public agencies providing services related to vocational rehabilitation services.
August 3, 1954 Senator Edward J. Thye (R-MN) offered an amendment to strike out the House ban on the transfer of Health, Education, and Welfare employees from Baltimore, Maryland, to Washington, D.C. He said some of the employees had already given up their Baltimore homes and that the transfer was an administrative decision that Congress should let stand.
August 4, 1954 Thye's amendment to delete the House-approved amendment prohibiting the use of Health, Education, and Welfare funds for the transfer of Social Security employees from Baltimore, Maryland, to Washington, D.C., was accepted by voice vote.
August 5, 1954 The Commissioner of Social Security approved the recommendation for the establishment of a separate Division of Disability Operations to be responsible for the administration of the "disability freeze" provisions of the 1954 Amendments of the Social Security Act. (This still had to be considered by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.)
August 17, 1954 The House agreed to the conference report on Supplemental Appropriation Bill but agreed by voice vote to insist on Friedel's amendment.
August 18, 1954 The Senate agreed to the conference report on the Supplemental Appropriation Bill by voice vote and accepted the House position on the amendments that had been reported in dispute by the conference committee.
August 26, 1954 The Supplemental Appropriation Bill for fiscal 1955 was signed into law. It authorized $20 million of trust fund money to construct an office building for the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance.
August 26, 1954 Charles I. Schottland took the oath of office as the Commissioner of Social Security at 11:00 a.m.
August 31, 1954 The Railroad Retirement Act was amended to reduce to age 60 the eligibility age for survivor benefits for widows, dependent widowers, and parents and to raise the wage base for contributions and benefits to $350 a month. The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act was amended to increase unemployment and sickness benefits.
September 1, 1954 The Social Security Act was amended to extend old-age and survivors insurance coverage to self-employed farmers, self-employed members of specified professions, additional farm and domestic employees; on a voluntary group basis to members of State and local Government retirement systems; and through election by individual ministers and members of religious orders, and protected the benefit rights of disabled persons through a disability freeze provision.
September 21, 1954 The Division of Disability Operations was set up on the fifth floor of the Miller Building in Baltimore.
December 21, 1954 The House Select Committee on Survivors' Benefits released a report stating that "thousands of survivors" were receiving monthly benefit payments in excess of the deceased's active duty pay. It added that other survivors were receiving benefits "inadequate to meet their basic minimum needs."
January 1, 1955 Effective this date, employees of the Federal Government were brought under the unemployment insurance system.
January 1, 1955 The wage base of $4,200 went into effect for the old age and survivors insurance payroll tax.
January 6, 1955 President Eisenhower, in his State of the Union message, recommended that "full contributory coverage should be made available to all Federal personnel, just as in private industry."
January 14, 1955 President Eisenhower named a seven-member Commission on Veterans Pensions to study the modernization of veterans benefits and to clarify their relationship to Government social insurance and family protection programs.
January 27, 1955 The United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the DHEW in its position that Federal Credit Unions, which are corporations with limited powers, do not have the incidental power to engage in the check-cashing business.
January 31, 1955 The President's health recommendations to Congress included a reinsurance plan plus expanded research and training programs.
January 1955 The Bureau of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance took the first "disability freeze" applications.
February 2, 1955 The Ohio Supreme Court made public its decision upholding the right of the State to enforce Statewide compliance with its provisions for aid to the permanently and totally disabled.
February 8, 1955 A Medical Advisory Committee was appointed to advise the Social Security Administration on the medical aspects of administering the disability freeze under the provisions of the old-age and survivors insurance program.
February 1955 By this date, old-age and survivors insurance beneficiaries numbered seven million.
March 1955 The Bureau of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance made its first disability determinations.
May 11, 1955 The President signed Public Law 33; this law amended the Social Security Act increasing the retirement pay of certain members of former Lighthouse Service to make such an increase permanent.
July 1, 1955 The responsibility for writing benefit checks was transferred from the Department of the Treasury disbursing office in Birmingham, Alabama, to the Bureau of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance's Area Office in that city. (Until 1958, the Birmingham Area Office continued to have this delegation from the Treasury Department to issue benefit checks for the beneficiaries on its rolls.)
July 1, 1955 The first old-age and survivors insurance benefits became payable that reflected the increases resulting from the exclusion of disability from benefit computation under the 1954 "freeze" provision. Nevada's plan for aid to dependent children became effective; all 53 jurisdictions were now administering such programs.
July 13, 1955 Oveta C. Hobby resigned as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Marion B. Folsom was appointed to the position and was sworn in on August 1, 1955.
August 9, 1955 The Social Security Act was amended to extend to April 1, 1956, the period during which wage credits of $160 a month could be provided for military service, and extended the time for filing claims for lump-sum death payments with respect to servicemen dying overseas and being reburied in this country.
August 12, 1955 The Railroad Retirement Act was amended to increase a spouse's annuity and repealed the provision that had barred survivor annuitants from dual receipt of benefits under the railroad and OASI programs.
February 27, 1956 SSA's new electronic computer system, an IBM 705, began operation in the Candler Building under the watchful eyes of technicians from IBM. The first computer application consisted of posting earnings records, benefit computations and reinstating incorrectly reported earnings.
March 12, 1956 The new IBM 705 computer is officially turned over to SSA.
April 23, 1956 The Bradley Commission Report was submitted. It addressed itself to problems in veterans' legislation including material dealing with Social Security issues.
June 29, 1956 Marion B. Folsom, the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, requested Congress to enact legislation which would permit small insurance companies and voluntary health insurance groups to pool resources in expanding their hospital and medical expenses coverage. Congress did not act on the proposal.
July 1, 1956 Posting operations in the Division of Accounting Operations were changed from a system which used 80-column punch cards and Type 407 Accounting Machines to one which used electronic data processing equipment and magnetic tape files.
July 3, 1956 Congress passed the National Health Survey Act which authorized the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to conduct a continuing survey of illness and disability in the Nation.
July 5, 1956 An insurance pooling proposal was introduced in Congress. This bill, S.4172, authorized the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to approve voluntary agreements between private insurance organizations for pooling or coordinating their resources and efforts in developing plans and policies regarding adequate health prepayment protection.
August 1, 1956 The Social Security Act was amended to provide monthly benefits to permanently and totally disabled workers aged 50-64; to pay child's benefits to disabled children aged 18 or over of retired or deceased workers, if their disability began before age 18; it lowered to age 62 the retirement age for widows and female parents.
August 1, 1956 The Servicemen's and Veterans' Survivor Benefits Act amended the Social Security Act by extending regular contributory coverage under old-age and survivors insurance to members of the uniformed services on active duty after 1956. Military service wage credit provisions were extended to the end of 1956.
August 3, 1956 Public Law 973 was signed. It established a system of survivor benefits for Federal judges and provided for payment of annuities to widows and dependent children of judges.
August 7, 1956 The Railroad Retirement Act was amended to increase all benefits except those affected by the "old age, and survivors insurance minimum guarantee," and those under the "average monthly compensation" minimum.
November 1956 Social Security retirement Benefits became payable to women at age 62.
December 28, 1956 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare approved the plan submitted by the Tennessee Valley Authority for extending coverage under the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program to employees covered by its retirement system.
January 1957 The first disability payments were paid under OASDI, when benefits for this month went to retired or deceased workers' dependent children aged 18 or over, where a permanent and total disability had begun before age 18. The increase in OASDI contribution rates became effective; 2 1/4 % each for employers and employees and 3 3/8% for self-employed.
April 25, 1957 Public Law 85-26 was approved. It provided for a temporary extension of certain special provisions relating to State plans for aid to the blind.
May 1957 The Ministry of Social Security of the U.S.S.R. became affiliated with the I.S.S.A.
July 17, 1957 The Social Security Act was amended to extend to June 30, 1958, an OASDI provision relating to disability freeze applications and modified the "offset" provision so that the receipt of Veteran's Administration disability compensation did not mean a reduction of the disability benefit under the Social Security Act.
July 1957 Monthly disability benefits first became payable under OASDI to insured workers aged 50-64.
August 27, 1957 The first Forand Bill, H.R. 9467, providing health insurance for several security beneficiaries was introduced.
August 30, 1957 The Social Security Act was amended to facilitate OASDI coverage for employees of interstate instrumentalities and State and local government employees in certain States. This legislation also provided for benefits, in all cases, to aliens living outside the United States who were survivors of servicemen. It revised dependents' eligibility requirements; postponed the deadline for ministers to elect coverage as self-employed, and specified whether certain remuneration of ministers was to be considered as earnings.
September 1, 1957 The Social Security Administration announced that the condition "living with" was not necessary to be entitled to monthly benefits.
October 24, 1957 Marion B. Folsom, Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, announced the appointment of a twelve-man Advisory Council to review the long range financial position of the Social Security system.
November 11, 1957 The ground was broken for the Woodlawn Building of the Bureau of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance.
1957 The Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance sent its first mission overseas to help administer benefit payments to persons residing in Poland.
1957 The Committee of Social Security Actuaries and Statisticians was established, thus continuing the existence of an I.S.S.A. ad hoc committee which, in cooperation with the I.L.O., had launched the first International Conference of Social Security Actuaries and Statisticians (Brussels, 1956).
June 4, 1958 The temporary Unemployment Compensation Act was passed providing for paying, from July 1958 through March 1959, additional unemployment benefits to workers who exhausted their benefit rights under the regular State program, with the Federal Government advancing the funds.
July 8, 1958 Director's Bulletin No. 282 announced that Area Offices would, in the future, be called "Payment Centers."
July 24, 1958 An agreement was reached between the Railroad Board and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare whereby the Board would make disability "freeze" determinations for career railroad workers conclusive only for the purpose of determining benefit payments under the railroad retirement program while DHEW would continue to make disability "freeze" determinations for all Social Security benefit purposes and for purposes of the financial interchange provisions. This compromise proposal was put into effect by an amendment to S. 2020 which was approved on September 6, 1958 (P.L. 85-927).
August 1, 1958 Arthur S. Flemming was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He succeeded Marion B. Folsom whose resignation was effective July 31, 1958.
August 27, 1958 Public Law 785 amended Section 403 of the Social Security Amendments of 1954 to provide social security coverage for certain employees of tax exempt organizations which erroneously, but in good faith, had failed to file the required waiver certificate in time to provide such coverage.
August 28, 1958 Public Law 787 was approved. It amended Title II of the Social Security Act so as to provide that the exception from "wages" made in Section 209(i) of the act was not to be applicable to payments to employees of a State or political subdivision thereof for periods of absence from work on account of sickness.
August 28, 1958 An act was approved amending Title II of the Social Security Act to include Massachusetts and Vermont among the States which were permitted to divide their retirement systems into two parts so as to obtain social security coverage, under State agreement, for only those States and local employees who desired such coverage, and to permit individuals who had decided against such coverage to change their decision within a year after the division of the system.
August 28, 1958 An act was approved amending Title II of the Social Security Act to provide that a widow or former wife divorced who lost her mother's insurance benefits by remarriage could again become entitled if her husband died within one year of such remarriage; it also provided that interstate instrumentalities could secure coverage for policemen and firemen in positions under a retirement system of the instrumentality.
August 28, 1958 The Social Security Act was amended to increase benefits and provided benefits for dependents of disabled worker beneficiaries; raised to $4,800 the amount of earnings taxable and creditable for benefit purposes, set a new schedule for contribution rates, extended coverage and made numerous other changes in Title II. Public assistance amendments revised the formula for Federal sharing in State assistance expenditures. These amendments also extended the program to Guam and raised the dollar limitations on Federal payments to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Child health and welfare programs were also amended.
August 28, 1958 Title XV of the Social Security Act was amended by the Ex-Servicemen's Unemployment Compensation Act, which set up a permanent unemployment insurance program for ex-servicemen like that for Federal employees.
August-September, 1958 The first Social Security East-West exchange was initiated under the Lacy-Zarcubin 1958 Agreement. The United States team included Commissioner Charles 1. Schottland, Chief Actuary, Robert J. Myers, the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Bureau Director, Victor Christgau, Assistant Director Arthur E. Hess, and Corinne Wolfe, Public Assistance Chief of Technical Training. The first U.S.S.R. officials visited the United States of America in November-December for study.
September 2, 1958 The Technical Amendments of 1958 were signed. They permitted a taxpayer who was 65 and disabled to deduct up to $15,000 in medical expenses instead of being subject to the normal ceilings.
September 2, 1958 H.R. 9522 was signed into law. It provided for a White House Conference on Aging to be held in January 1961.
September 6, 1958 The Railroad Retirement Act and the Social Security Act were amended by revising certain provisions relating to coordination between the railroad and OASDI programs that concerned disability freeze determinations and eligibility for certain survivors and certain railroad workers who resided outside the United States.
September 1958 Benefits became payable to Disability Insurance Benefit dependents.
September 1958 A new Payment Center was established in Baltimore to handle cash disability payments and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance payments for beneficiaries living in foreign countries.
November 10, 1958 Charles I. Schottland submitted to President Eisenhower his resignation as Commissioner of Social Security, effective December 31, 1958.
December 26, 1958 William L. Mitchell was named the Commissioner of Social Security. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on January 1,1959, and he took the oath of office on February 4, 1959.
1958 Violations Branch established in the Division of Claims Policy--for fraud control activities.
1959 Social security began receiving the Organization of American States Fellows for program planning and technical assistance.
January 1, 1959 An increase in Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance contribution rates was raised to 2.5% each for employers and employees and to 3.75% for the self-employed. The OASDI wage base was set at $4,800.
January 2, 1959 The Advisory Council on Social Security Financing, required by the Social Security Amendments of 1956, submitted its report on the status of OASDI trust funds and called for no major change in financing methods.
February 6, 1959 The Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare established a special Subcommittee on Problems of the Aged and Aging (the McNamara Subcommittee) to conduct a comprehensive study of the major problems of the aged.
February 18, 1959 H.R. 4700 was introduced by Representative Forand to provide hospital, surgical and nursing home benefits for old-age and survivors insurance beneficiaries using the Social Security administrative mechanism. The program was to be financed by an increase in the Social Security tax. A number of alternative proposals were subsequently introduced in the House and the Senate, but none were enacted.
February 19, 1959 Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Arthur S. Flemming announced the appointment of George K. Wyman as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security.
March 13, 1959 The Committee on Ways and Means established the Subcommittee on Administration of the Social Security Laws under the chairmanship of Congressman Burr P. Harrison of Virginia. The committee's purpose was to exercise continuous watchfulness over the administration of existing Social Security laws and to conduct appropriate studies and investigations in this connection.
April 2, 1959 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee the report on the study requested by the committee on alternative ways of providing insurance against the cost of hospital and nursing home care for old-age, survivors, and disability insurance beneficiaries.
May 19, 1959 The Railroad Retirement Act was amended to increase benefit amounts, raise the taxable wage base to $400 a month, liberalize the disability earnings test, lower the retirement age for women, increase future tax rates, and adjust the OASDI minimum guarantee provision. The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act was amended to increase benefit rates for unemployment and for sickness, raise the qualifying earnings requirement, raise the taxable wage base to $400 a month, revise the schedule for employer contributions, and provide for extended unemployment benefits on a permanent basis.
June 22, 1959 The Social Security Administration's trustees reported to Congress that the Old-age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund would run an $87 million deficit for fiscal 1960. The trustees said, however, that the 1960 deficit would be the last in the foreseeable future because of increased income expected from Social Security tax raises voted by Congress in 1958.
June 22, 1959 Commissioner Mitchell approved realignment of service areas assigned to the Chicago, Kansas City and Philadelphia Payment Centers by transferring Ohio from Chicago to Philadelphia, and Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota from Kansas City to Chicago.
June 25, 1959 The Alaska Omnibus Bill became Public Law 86-70. This law modified the public assistance and child welfare provisions of the Social Security Act so that Alaska would be treated on the same basis as other States with respect to these programs.
July 8, 1959 The Cornerstone was laid for the new Social Security Building.
July 20,1959 The Commissioner of Social Security decided that the formal regulations should be amended effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register to make Reconsideration a mandatory step in the administrative appeals process.
July 1959 Jay Roney resigned as Director, Bureau of Public Assistance.
August 18, 1959 Public Law 86-168 was approved. It provided social security coverage for persons who first entered after December 31, 1959, the employ of Federal land banks, Federal intermediate credit banks, and banks for cooperatives.
August 1959 The Office of Appeals Council became the Office of Hearings and Appeals and three divisions were established: a Program Division, a Field Division, and an Administrative Services Division.
September 3, 1959 The report by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, "Hospitalization Insurance for OASDI Beneficiaries", sent to the Committee of Ways and Means of H.R. brought together information on the characteristics of the aged, their income and assets, their use of medical services, and the extent to which they were covered by voluntary health insurance.
September 16, 1959 Public Law 86-284 was enacted. It modified existing provisions governing the coverage of nonprofessional school employees under old-age, survivors and disability insurance to permit the States of California, Kansas, North Dakota and Vermont to obtain social security coverage for certain policemen and firemen on the same basis as other State and local employees under retirement systems.
September 22, 1959 The Federal Credit Union Act was rewritten. Changes included raising the limit on unsecured loans to $750, increasing the maximum maturity of loans to five years, authorization to cash and sell checks to members for a fee, and requiring repayment or amortization of loans according to the Bureau of Federal Credit Union regulations.
September 28, 1959 The President signed the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act, establishing a prepaid, voluntary health insurance plan for over two million Federal civilian workers and their dependents, with costs to be shared by the Federal Government and the employees.
October 24, 1959 Effective this date, reconsideration became a mandatory precedent to any further review action on a claim for disability benefits initially denied by a State agency. Formerly, it was optional with the claimant whether he requested "reconsideration" or proceeded directly to a hearing before a Hearing Examiner of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals of the SSA.
November 12, 1959 The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Arthur S. Flemming, said the Administration had been unable, thus far, to devise an alternative health care plan. In view of this, he said, "we are reviewing our position on the basic principles embodied in such legislation as the Forand bill."
December 28, 1959 The twelve-member Advisory Council on Child Welfare Services made a series of broad recommendations for expanding the Federal role in child welfare services. It said the Social Security Act should be amended to permit the Federal Government to participate in programs dealing with any social problem affecting the well being of children, eliminating existing restrictions on Federal participation.
December 31, 1959 The thirteen-member Advisory Council on Public Assistance headed by the Commissioner of Social Security, William L. Mitchell, recommended that the Federal share of public assistance expenditures remain at the current 50 to 60% overall level provided in the Social Security amendments of 1958.