Anniversary of the Social Security Act of 1935
On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act and became the first United States president to advocate federal assistance for retirees and the unemployed. The act was drafted and signed in the midst of the New Deal, a series of programs enacted between 1933 and 1936 and in the years following. The Social Security Act of 1935 and similar domestic programs made the welfare of the elderly and the unemployed a federal concern.
Before the Social Security Act, elder support was handled by the family and the state. Nationwide suffering brought on by the Great Depression spurred a call to action for national insurance protection. In January of 1935, President Roosevelt called for such legislation during his State of the Union address. A struggle followed-the Social Security Act imposed mandatory taxes on employers where the taxes were once optional in states. Opposition to the Social Security Act argued that the act went beyond the powers granted to the federal government in the Constitution.
Alleviating Fears of Poverty
Two years after the act was signed into law, two Supreme Court rulings affirmed the constitutionality of the Social Security Act. In Steward Machine Company v. Davis, a 5-4 decision cited "the promotion of the general welfare" in the ruling with the circumstances of the Great Depression in mind. In Helvering v. Davis, the court upheld the program tax as a constitutional exercise of Congressional taxation powers.
The Social Security Act of 1935's solution to elderly pensions and unemployment assistance was a form of insurance taxation on individual wages and employer payrolls. Rather than depending on government funds in individual states, a nationwide tax would provide these funds, providing assistance to children, the unemployed, and those with special needs. Social Security also helps instituting vocational training programs and health programs.
Encounter Social Security Disability Issues
The Social Security Act of 1935 continues to receive support and opposition to this day. It is not uncommon to encounter difficulties when registering for Social Security or acquiring the aid a person needs. If you are confronting legal issues in West Virginia, consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC and ensure your rights are protected.