Social Security

Financial Dictionary -> General Finance -> Social Security

In the United States Social Security refers to the (OASDI) program, Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, which is the overall program that supports the following initiatives:

- Unemployment Benefits, to aid those who cannot find work or who are unable to work.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, helping families that have fallen in to a crisis and need extra support.
- Health Insurance for the Elderly and Disabled, otherwise known as Medicare.
- Various grants and funds for state Medical programs, otherwise known as Medicaid.
- SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
- SSI, Supplemental Security Income for the aged, blind or disabled on a case by case basis.

The aim of the overriding Social Security Act is to look after the social welfare of the United States citizens and it's the largest governmental program of its kind in the world. A whopping 37 percent of government spending goes towards social security.

Funding for social security comes out of taxes, under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), and is assigned to the various trusts that the program manages.

At times the social security system has been criticized for encouraging people to retire and cheat the system to gain benefits, rather than work hard and give to the economy. However opposing views suggest that as elderly people retire on their pensions, there will be younger people to fill the positions and move up the ladder that wouldn't have been able to if the elderly were forced to work in order to continue to make a living, because they didn't have any benefits.

All citizens of the United States should be issued with a Social Security Number, which is a nine digit card used to identify individuals and track them for taxation purposes. You need the card and number to get a job and receive any social security benefits.