Research Notes & Special Studies by the Historian's Office

Research Note #13:
Listing of Social Security Advisory Councils & Commissions



Chartered By



Major Impact

1934 Committee on Economic Security (CES) President Roosevelt Design Social Security program Frances Perkins Created Social Security program
1934 Advisory Council President Roosevelt Advise CES Frank Graham Little impact
1937-38 Advisory Council Jointly by Senate Special Committee on Social Security and the Social Security Board Study advisability of amending Act J. Douglas Brown Resulted in the major 1939 Amendments
1947-48 Advisory Council Senate Committee on Finance Comprehensive Review Edward Stettinius Resulted in the major 1950 Amendments
1953 Consultants on SS Oveta Culp Hobby Study Extension of Coverage Reinhard Hohaus Little impact
1957-58 Advisory Council on SS Financing Marion B. Folsom as mandated by Congress in 1956 Review Financial Soundness of Program Charles Schottland Little impact
1963-64 Advisory Council Anthony Celebrezze as mandated by Congress Review Finances and all other aspects Robert M. Ball Recommended Medicare and extension of disability to younger workers. (Medicare already on verge of adoption at time of report.)
1965-74 Health Insurance

Benefits Advisory Council
President Johnson and HEW as mandated by Congress Advise on Policy and Administration Kermit Gordon Issued annual reports on Medicare program.
1968 Advisory Council on Health Insurance for Disabled Wilbur Cohen as mandated by Congress Study Extension of Medicare to the Disabled Dr. Kessler Advocated extending Medicare to disabled-eventually adopted.
1969-71 Advisory Council Robert H. Finch as mandated by Congress All aspects Arthur Flemming Recommendations for changes in actuarial estimates-led to 1972 COLA increases.
1974-75 Advisory Council Casper Weinberger as mandated by Congress All aspects Allen Wallis Made recommendations for technical changes in financing that were eventually adopted.
1978-79 Advisory Council and panel of Consultants Joseph Califano as mandated by Congress All aspects Henry Aaron Made broad recommendations on financing, most not adopted. Little impact.
1981 National Commission on Social Security Established by 1977 Amendments All aspects Milton Gwirtzman Little impact.
1982-84 Advisory Council Richard Schweiker as mandated by Congress Medicare Dr. Otis Bowen Little impact.
1982-83 National Commission on Social Security Reform President Reagan Financing issues Alan Greenspan Resulted in the major 1983 Amendments
1986 Advisory Council Otis Bowen as mandated by Congress Disability program Dr. John Affeldt Made recommendations re: vocational rehab. Little immediate impact.
1991 Advisory Council Louis Sullivan as mandated by Congress All aspects Deborah Steelman Issued extensive reports. No significant recommendations.
1994-1995 Advisory Council Donna Shalala as mandated by Congress Financing issues Edward Gramlich Split into three groups with rival proposals. Focused attention on solvency debate.
1995 Permanent Advisory Board Independent Agency legislation abolished Advisory Councils and replaced them with a permanent Advisory Board All aspects of SSA's responsibilities Seven member Board Has issued a number of advisory reports
2001 Presidential
President George W. Bush Social Security reform (Co-Chairs)
Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan and
Richard Parsons
Report pending
Note: Dates of various Councils is somewhat imprecise and is sometimes given as slightly different than the dates shown here. Some Councils were known by the date they were established, and some by the date of their major reports, and some Councils were actually formed in years other than their mandated time period. We are using the dates most commonly used for the various Councils, even though this produces some inconsistencies in usage.

Larry DeWitt
SSA Historian's Office
Updated November 6, 2001