This Month in History

May 18, 1933 The first significant use of the term "Social Security" came about when the American Association for Old-age Security became the American Association for Social Security.

May 13, 1935 The Social Security Bill (H.R. 7260) was reported out by the Senate Finance Committee.

May 1, 1936 The first seven regional offices of the Social Security Board were opened; the remaining five were opened by the end of the year.

May 8, 1936 The following appointments of Regional Directors of the Social Security Board were made: John Pearson, Region I (Boston); Anna Rosenberg, Region II (New York) ; William L. Dill, Region III (Philadelphia); Fred Wilcox, Region VIII (Minneapolis); Ed McDonald, Region IX (Kansas City); Oscar Powell, Region X (San Antonio).

May 19, 1936 Clowacki R. Parker was appointed the Regional Director of the Social Security Board, Washington, D.C.

May 10, 1937 The Social Security Board joined with a Special Committee on Social Security of the Senate Finance Committee in the appointment of an Advisory Council on Social Security. It consisted of representatives of labor and employers' organizations, as well as actuaries and economists, to advise and report specifically on the old-age benefits program and its extension to survivors of insured workers and to groups now excluded.

May 24, 1937 In three decisions, the Supreme Court validated the unemployment insurance provisions of the Social Security Act and ruled old-age pensions were constitutional, (301 U.S. 495, 548, 619) in Steward Machine Company v. Davis; Helvering v. Davis; and Carmichael v. Southern Coal Company.

May 5, 1942 Arthur J. Altmeyer, Chairman of the Social Security Board, was appointed Executive Director of the War Manpower Commission. He continued his duties on the Social Security Board.

May 8, 1948 The Advisory Council on Social Security presented its second report, with recommendations for an insurance system to cover the risks of permanent and total disability, to the Senate Finance Committee.

May 24, 1962 Secretary Ribicoff sent the first message to go out nationwide over the newly completed Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance telecommunication network. The network linked the 599 Social Security District Offices and the seven Payment Centers with headquarters in Baltimore.

May 5, 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson presented a Social Security check to the 20-millionth beneficiary.

May 16, 1966 The one-millionth disabled worker in current payment status was added to the disability benefit rolls. In February 1966, Marlin Enders, a 51-year-old coal miner from Tremont, Pennsylvania was awarded disability benefits for himself and his family.

May 1969 Secretary Finch released the final report of the Task Force on Prescription Drugs. Dr. Philip R. Lee headed the Task Force from its inception in May 19, 1967. The Task Force's charge was to study the possibility of adding prescription drug coverage to the recently enacted Medicare program.

May 2, 1970 The first Black Lung benefits were paid.

May 25, 1970 Robert J. Myers, SSA's Chief Actuary since 1947, retired.

May 4, 1980 With the departure of the Office of Education, DHEW became the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

May 6, 1981 John A. Svahn became the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

May 17, 1994 SSA's Internet site was launched on the World-Wide Web (SSA Online at Bruce Carter was appointed as the Webmaster.

May 1, 1997 The cycling of Social Security benefit payments began. Under payment cycling, new beneficiaries receive their payment on one of three Wednesdays during the month, based on their date of birth (or the worker's DOB in the case of auxiliaries). For DOB 1-10, second Wednesday; for DOB 11-20, third Wednesday; for DOB 21-end, fourth Wednesday.

May 15, 2000 Commissioner of Social Security, Kenneth S. Apfel, announced today that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been selected to participate in the Social Security Administration's Disability Research Institute. The five-year program will provide
$1.25 million in funding to the university in the first year.

May 2, 2001 President Bush announced the appointment of a 16-member bi-partisan Commission on Social Security. The Commission has been tasked to develop a proposal to modernize and restore financial soundness to Social Security, according to the principles the President announced in his State-of-the-Union Address.

May 17, 2002 Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, and Dallas L. Salisbury, chairman of the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), announced plans to enhance national education efforts on the importance of saving. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and ASEC will combine their efforts through the national "Save for Your Future" campaign, which will begin in spring 2003.

May 1, 2006 The 2006 Social Security Trustees Report shows little change in the projected financial status of the Social Security program over last year. The Trustees Report projects that the Social Security Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2040 – one year sooner than last year’s projection. The projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs comes in 2017 -- the same as the estimate in last year’s report. The projected point at which the Trust Funds will be exhausted comes in 2040 -- one year earlier than the projection in last year’s report.

May 20, 2008 The Social Security Administration issued final rules designed to improve the Ticket to Work program.  The changes will improve the effectiveness of the Ticket program in assisting beneficiaries with disabilities who want to work.

May 12, 2009 The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report.  The Trustees project that program costs will exceed tax revenues in 2016, one year sooner than projected in last year’s report.  The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2037, four years sooner than projected last year. 

May 9, 2011 SSA announced the agency is publishing data on its Open Government website about verifications the agency conducts for States under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.  Under HAVA, most States are required to verify the last four digits of the Social Security number of people newly registering to vote who do not possess a valid State driver's license. The data available at represents the summary results for each State of the four-digit match performed by Social Security under HAVA.

May 13, 2011 Social Security Board of Trustees long-range projections estimate that the Trust Funds will be depleted in 2036, one year earlier than predicted in last year's report.