Social Security

Social Security


Social Security is primarily the "Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance" (OASDI) federal program.  The original Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935, and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompasses several social welfare programs.


Social Security is funded through payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax or Self Employed Contributions Act (SECA) tax. Tax deposits are collected by the IRS and are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund which make up the Social Security Trust Funds.  With few exceptions, all salaried income, up to an amount specifically determined by law has a FICA or SECA tax collected on it.   Income over that amount is not taxed.  For 2015 the maximum amount of taxable earnings was $118,500.

With few exceptions, all legal residents working in the United States now have an individual Social Security number. Indeed, nearly all working (and many non-working) residents since Social Security's inception in 1935 have had a Social Security number because it is required in order to get a job and pay the IRS.

In 2013, the total Social Security expenditures were $1.3 trillion - which represented 8.4% of the $16.3 trillion Gross National Product in 2013.  It also represented  37% of the total Federal expenditures of almost $3.7 trillion.  Income derived from Social Security is currently estimated to keep roughly 20% of all Americans, age 65 or older, above the Federally defined poverty level.