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A Social Security card issued in Florida in 1982

Social Security in the United States currently refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

The original Social Security Act[1] (1935) and the current version of the Act, as amended[2] encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs. The larger and better known programs are:

U.S. Social Security is a social insurance program funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Tax deposits are formally entrusted to[3] 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. The main part of the program is sometimes abbreviated OASDI (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) or RSDI (Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance). When initially signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 as part of his New Deal, the term Social Security covered unemployment insurance as well. The term, in everyday speech, is used to refer only to the benefits for retirement, disability, survivorship, and death, which are the four main benefits provided by traditional private-sector pension plans. In 2004 the U.S. Social Security system paid out almost $500 billion in benefits.[4] By dollars paid, the U.S. Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget, with 20.8% for social security, compared to 20.5% for discretionary defense and 20.1% for Medicare/Medicaid.[5] Social Security is currently the largest social insurance program in the U.S., constituting 37% of government expenditure and 7% of the gross domestic product[6] and is currently estimated to keep roughly 40% of all Americans age 65 or older out of poverty.[7] The Social Security Administration is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, just to the west of Baltimore.

Social Security privatization became a major political issue for more than three decades during the presidencies of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Contents

History

A limited form of the Social Security program began as a measure to implement "social insurance" during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when poverty rates among senior citizens exceeded 50%.[8]

Creation: The Social Security Act

President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, at approximately 3:30 pm EST on August 14, 1935.[9] Standing with Roosevelt are Rep. Robert Doughton (D-NC); unknown person in shadow; Sen. Robert Wagner (D-NY); Rep. John Dingell (D-MI); unknown man in bowtie; the Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins; Sen. Pat Harrison (D-MS); and Rep. David Lewis (D-MD).

The Social Security Act was drafted by Gov. Robert Moran Jr.'s committee on economic security, under Frances Perkins, and passed by Congress as part of the New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate the protection of the elderly.[10]

Provisions of the Act

The Act is formally cited as the Social Security Act, ch. 531, 49 Stat. 620, now codified as 42 U.S.C. ch.7. The Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump-sum benefit at death. Payments to current retirees were (and continue to be) financed by a payroll tax on current workers' wages, half directly as a payroll tax and half paid by the employer. The act also allocated money to states to provide assistance to aged individuals (Title I), for unemployment insurance (Title III), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (Title IV), Maternal and Child Welfare (Title V), public health services (Title VI), and the blind (Title X).[10]

Controversy

Social Security was controversial when originally proposed, with one point of opposition being that it would cause a loss of jobs. However, proponents argued that there was in fact an advantage: it would encourage older workers to retire, thereby creating opportunities for younger people to find jobs, which would lower the unemployment rate. While most economists attribute the recession of 1937 and 1938 to other causes, historian Edward Berkowitz subsequently contended that the Act was a cause of the "Roosevelt Recession."

Most women and minorities were excluded from the benefits of unemployment insurance and old age pensions. Employment definitions reflected typical white male categories and patterns.[11] Job categories that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural labor, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers.[12] The act also denied coverage to individuals who worked intermittently.[13] These jobs were dominated by women and minorities. For example, women made up 90% of domestic labor in 1940 and two-thirds of all employed black women were in domestic service.[14] Exclusions exempted nearly half the working population.[13] Nearly two-thirds of all African Americans in the labor force, 70 to 80% in some areas in the South, and just over half of all women employed were not covered by Social Security.[15][16] At the time, the NAACP protested the Social Security Act, describing it as “a sieve with holes just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through.”[16]

Some have suggested that this discrimination resulted from the powerful position of Southern Democrats on two of the committees pivotal for the Act’s creation, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.[citation needed] Southern congressmen supported Social Security as a means to bring needed relief to areas in the South that were especially hurt by the Great Depression but wished to avoid legislation which might interfere with the racial status quo in the South. The solution to this dilemma was to pass a bill that both included exclusions and granted authority to the states rather than the national government (such as the states' power in Aid to Dependent Children). Others have argued that exclusions of job categories such as agriculture were frequently left out of new social security systems worldwide because of the administrative difficulties in covering these workers.[16]

Social Security reinforced traditional views of family life.[17] Women generally qualified for insurance only through their husbands or children.[17] Mothers’ pensions (Title IV) based entitlements on the presumption that mothers would be unemployed.[17]

Historical discrimination in the system can also be seen with regard to Aid to Dependent Children. Since this money was allocated to the states to distribute, some localities assessed black families as needing less money than white families. These low grant levels made it impossible for African American mothers to not work: one requirement of the program.[18] Some states also excluded children born out of wedlock, an exclusion which affected African American women more than white women.[19] One study determined that 14.4% of eligible white individuals received funding, but only 1.5% of eligible black individuals received these benefits.[16]

Debates on the constitutionality of the Act

In the 1930s, the Supreme Court struck down many pieces of Roosevelt's New Deal legislation, including the Railroad Retirement Act. In May, the Court threw out a centerpiece of the New Deal, the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and New York State's minimum-wage law. President Roosevelt responded with an attempt to pack the court via the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937. On February 5, 1937, he sent a special message to Congress proposing legislation granting the President new powers to add additional judges to all federal courts whenever there were sitting judges age 70 or older who refused to retire.[20] The practical effect of this proposal was that the President would get to appoint six new Justices to the Supreme Court (and 44 judges to lower federal courts), thus instantly tipping the political balance on the Court dramatically in his favor. The debate on this proposal was heated and widespread, and lasted over six months. Beginning with a set of decisions in March, April, and May, 1937 (including the Social Security Act cases), the Court would sustain a series of New Deal legislation.[21]

Two Supreme Court rulings affirmed the constitutionality of the Social Security Act.

  • Steward Machine Company v. Davis, 301 U.S, 548[22] (1937) held, in a 5–4 decision, that, given the exigencies of the Great Depression, "[It] is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that in a crisis so extreme the use of the moneys of the nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use for any purpose narrower than the promotion of the general welfare". The arguments opposed to the Social Security Act (articulated by justices Butler, McReynolds, and Sutherland in their opinions) were that the social security act went beyond the powers that were granted to the federal government in the Constitution. They argued that, by imposing a tax on employers that could be avoided only by contributing to a state unemployment-compensation fund, the federal government was essentially forcing each state to establish an unemployment-compensation fund that would meet its criteria, and that the federal government had no power to enact such a program.
  • Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937), decided on the same day as Steward, upheld the program because "The proceeds of both [employee and employer] taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like internal-revenue taxes generally, and are not earmarked in any way". That is, the Social Security Tax was constitutional as a mere exercise of Congress's general taxation powers.
Ida May Fuller, the first recipient

Implementation

Payroll taxes were first collected in 1937, also the year in which the first benefits were paid, namely the lump-sum death benefit paid to 53,236 beneficiaries.[citation needed]

The first reported Social Security payment was to Ernest Ackerman, who retired only one day after Social Security began. Five cents were withheld from his pay during that period, and he received a lump-sum payout of seventeen cents from Social Security.[23]

The first monthly payment was issued on January 31, 1940 to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. In 1937, 1938 and 1939 she paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System. Her first check was for $22.54. After her second check, Fuller already had received more than she contributed over the three-year period. She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92.[24]

Expansion and evolution

The provisions of Social Security have been changing since the 1930s, shifting in response to economic worries as well as concerns over changing gender roles and the position of minorities. Officials have responded more to the concerns of women than those of minority groups.[25] Social Security gradually moved toward universal coverage. By 1950, debates moved away from which occupational groups should be included to how to provide more adequate coverage.[26] Changes in Social Security have reflected a balance between promoting equality and efforts to provide adequate protection.[27]

In 1940, benefits paid totaled $35 million. These rose to $961 million in 1950, $11.2 billion in 1960, $31.9 billion in 1970, $120.5 billion in 1980, and $247.8 billion in 1990 (all figures in nominal dollars, not adjusted for inflation). In 2004, $492 billion of benefits were paid to 47.5 million beneficiaries.[28] In 2009, nearly 51 million Americans will receive $650 billion in Social Security benefits.

1939 Amendments

Economic concerns
One reason for the proposed changes in 1939 was a growing concern over the impact that the reserves created by the 1935 act were having on the economy. The Recession of 1937 was blamed on the government, tied to the abrupt decrease in government spending and the $2 billion that had been collected in Social Security taxes.[29] Benefits became available in 1940 instead of 1942 and changes to the benefit formula increased the amount of benefits available to all recipients in the early years of Social Security.[30] These two policies combined to shrink the size of the reserves. The original Act had conceived of the program as paying benefits out of a large reserve. This Act shifted the conception of Social Security into the pay-as-you-go system.[31]

Creation of the Social Security Trust Fund
The amendments established a trust fund for any surplus funds. The managing trustee of this fund is the Secretary of the Treasury. The money could be invested in both non-marketable and marketable securities.[32]

The move toward family protection
Calls for reform of Social Security emerged within a few years of the 1935 Act. Even as early as 1936, some believed that women were not getting enough support. Worried that a lack of assistance might push women back into the work force, these individuals wanted Social Security changes that would prevent this. In an effort to protect the family, therefore, some called for reform which tied women's aid more concretely to their dependency on their husbands.[33] Others expressed apprehension about the complicated administrative practices of Social Security.[34] Concerns about the size of the reserve fund of the retirement program, emphasized by a recession in 1937 led to further calls for change.[35]

These amendments, however, avoided the question of the large numbers of workers in excluded categories.[36] Instead, the amendments of 1939 made family protection a part of Social Security. This included increased federal funding for the Aid to Dependent Children and raised the maximum age of children eligible to receive money under the Aid to Dependent Children to 18. The amendment added wives, elderly widows, and dependent survivors of covered male workers to those who could receive old age pensions. These individuals had previously been granted lump sum payments upon only death or coverage through the Aid to Dependent Children program. If a married wage-earning woman’s own benefit was worth less than 50% of her husband’s benefit, she was treated as a wife, not a worker.[37] If a woman who was covered by Social Security died, however, her dependents were ineligible for her benefits.[38] Since support for widows was dependent on the husband being a covered worker, African American widows were severely underrepresented and unaided by these changes.[39]

In order to assure fiscal conservatives who worried about the costs of adding family protection policies, the benefits for single workers were decreased and lump-sum death payments were abolished.[40]

FICA

A poster for the expansion of the Social Security Act

Social Security payroll taxes are collected under authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), and are sometimes referred to as "FICA taxes."

In the original 1935 law the benefit provisions were in Title II of the Act (which is why Social Security is sometimes referred to as the "Title II" program.) The taxing provisions were in a separate title, Title VIII. There is a deep reason for this, having to do with the constitutionality of the law (see discussion of the Constitutionality of the 1935 Act).

As part of the 1939 Amendments, the Title VIII taxing provisions were taken out of the Social Security Act and placed in the Internal Revenue Code. Since it wouldn't make any sense to call this new section of the Internal Revenue Code "Title VIII," it was renamed the "Federal Insurance Contributions Act."

The payroll taxes collected for Social Security are of course taxes, but they can also be described as contributions to the social insurance system that is Social Security. Hence the name "Federal Insurance Contributions Act." FICA refers to the tax provisions of the Social Security Act, as they appear in the Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments of the 1950s

After years of debates about the inclusion of domestic labor, household employees working at least two days a week for the same person were added in 1950, along with nonprofit workers and the self-employed. Hotel workers, laundry workers, all agricultural workers, and state and local government employees were added in 1954.[41]

In 1956, the tax rate was raised to 4.0% (2.0% for the employer, 2.0% for the employee) and disability benefits were added. Also in 1956, women were allowed to retire at 62 with benefits reduced by 25%. Widows of covered workers were allowed to retire at 62 without the reduction in benefits.[42]

Amendments of the 1960s

In 1961, retirement at age 62 was extended to men, and the tax rate was increased to 6.0%.

In 1962, the changing role of the female worker was acknowledged when benefits of covered women could be collected by dependent husbands, widowers, and children. These individuals, however, had to be able to prove their dependency.[43]

Medicare was added in 1965 by the Social Security Act of 1965, part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" program. Social Security was changed to withdraw funds from the independent "Trust Fund" and put it into the General Fund for additional congressional revenue.

In 1965, the age at which widows could begin collecting benefits was reduced to 60. Widowers were not included in this change. When divorce, rather than death, became the major cause of marriages ending, divorcées were added to the list of recipients. Divorcées over the age of 65 who had been married for at least 20 years, remained unmarried, and could demonstrate dependency on their ex-husbands received benefits.[44]

The government adopted a unified budget in the Johnson administration in 1968. This change resulted in a single measure of the fiscal status of the government, based on the sum of all government activity.[45] The surplus in Social Security trust funds offsets the total debt, making it appear much smaller than it otherwise would.

Amendments of the 1970s

1972 Amendments
In June 1972, both houses of the United States Congress approved by overwhelming majorities 20% increases in benefits for 27.8 million Americans. The average payment per month rose from $133 to $166. The bill also set up a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to take effect in 1975. This adjustment would be made on a yearly basis if the Consumer Price Index increased by 3% or more.[46] This addition was an attempt to index benefits to inflation so that benefits would rise automatically. If inflation was 5%, the goal was to automatically increase benefits by 5% so their real value didn't decline. A technical error in the formula caused these adjustments to overcompensate for inflation, a technical mistake which has been called double-indexing. The COLAs actually caused benefits to increase at twice the rate of inflation.

In October 1972, a $5 billion piece of Social Security legislation was enacted which expanded the Social Security program. For example, minimum monthly benefits of individuals employed in low income positions for at least 30 years were raised. Increases were also made to the pensions of 3.8 million widows and dependent widowers.[46]

These amendments also established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Immigrants who had never paid into the system became eligible for SSI benefits when they reached age 65. SSI is not a Social Security benefit, but a welfare program, because the elderly and disabled poor are entitled to SSI regardless of work history. Likewise, SSI is not an entitlement, because there is no right to SSI payments.

The negative financial outlook
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, during the phase-in period of Social Security, Congress was able to grant generous benefit increases because the system had perpetual short-run surpluses. Congressional amendments to Social Security took place in even numbered years (election years) because the bills were politically popular, but by the late 1970s, this era was over. For the next three decades, projections of Social Security's finances would show large, long-term deficits, and in the early 1980s, the program flirted with immediate insolvency. From this point on, amendments to Social Security would take place in odd numbered years (years that were not election years) because Social Security reform now meant tax increases and benefit reductions. Social Security became known as the "Third Rail of American Politics." Touching it meant political death.

Several effects came together in the years following the 1972 amendments which rapidly changed the outlook on Social Security's long-term financial picture from positive to problematic. By the 1970s, the phase-in period, during which workers were paying taxes but few were collecting benefits, was largely over, and the ratio of elderly population to the working population was increasing. These developments brought questions about the capacity of the long term financial structure based on a pay-as-you-go program.

During the Carter administration, the economy suffered double-digit inflation, coupled with very high interest rates, oil and energy crises, high unemployment and slow economic growth. Productivity growth in the United States had declined to an average annual rate of 1%, compared to 3.2% during the 1960s. There was also a growing federal budget deficit which increased to $66 billion. The 1970s are described as a period of stagflation, meaning economic stagnation coupled with price inflation, as well as higher interest rates. Price inflation (a rise in the general level of prices) creates uncertainty in budgeting and planning and makes labor strikes for pay raises more likely.

These underlying negative trends were exacerbated by a colossal mathematical error made in the 1972 amendments establishing the COLAs. The mathematical error which overcompensated for inflation was particularly detrimental given the double-digit inflation of this period, and the error led to benefit increases that were nowhere near financially sustainable.

The high inflation, double-indexing, and lower than expected wage growth was financial disaster for Social Security.

1977 Amendments
To combat the declining financial outlook, in 1977 Congress passed and Carter signed legislation fixing the double-indexing mistake. This amendment also altered the tax formulas to raise more money,[47] increasing withholding from 2% to 6.15%.[48] With these changes, President Carter remarked, "Now this legislation will guarantee that from 1980 to the year 2030, the Social Security funds will be sound."[49] This turned out not to be the case. The financial picture declined almost immediately and by the early 1980s, the system was again in crisis.

Amendments of the 1980s

After the 1977 amendments, the economic assumptions surrounding Social Security projections continued to be overly optimistic as the program moved toward a crisis. For example, COLAs were attached to increases in the CPI. This meant that they changed with prices, instead of wages. Before the 1970s, wage measurements exceeded changes in price. In the 1970s, however, this reversed and real wages decreased. This meant that FICA revenues could not keep up with the increasing benefits that were being given out. Continued high unemployment levels also lowered the amount of Social Security tax that could be collected. These two developments were decreasing the Social Security Trust Fund reserves.[50] In 1982, projections indicated that the Social Security Trust Fund would run out of money by 1983, and there was talk of the system being unable to pay benefits.[51] The National Commission on Social Security Reform, chaired by Alan Greenspan, was created to address the crisis.

The 1983 Amendments
The National Commission on Social Security Reform (NCSSR), chaired by Alan Greenspan, was empaneled to investigate the long-run solvency of Social Security. The 1983 Amendments to the SSA were based on the NCSSR's Final Report."Report of the National Commission on Social Security Reform". http://www.ssa.gov/history/reports/gspan.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15.  The NCSSR recommended enacting a six-month delay in the COLA and changing the tax-rate schedules for the years between 1984 and 1990.[52] It also proposed an income tax on the Social Security benefits of higher-income individuals. This meant that benefits in excess of a household income threshold, generally $25,000 for singles and $32,000 for couples (the precise formula computes and compares three different measures) became taxable. These changes were important for generating revenue in the short term.

Also of concern was the long-term prospect for Social Security because of demographic considerations. Of particular concern was the issue of what would happen when people born during the post-World War II baby boom retired. The NCSSR made several recommendations for addressing the issue.[53] Under the 1983 amendments to Social Security, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, a previously-enacted increase in the payroll tax rate was accelerated, additional employees were added to the system, the full-benefit retirement age was slowly increased, and up to one-half of the value of the Social Security benefit was made potentially taxable income.[54][55]

The 1983 Amendments and the Social Security Trust Fund
The 1983 Amendments also included a provision to exclude the Social Security Trust Fund from the unified budget (In political jargon, it was proposed to be taken “off-budget.”[citation needed] Yet today Social Security is treated like all the other trust funds of the Unified Budget.[citation needed] It is a political way[citation needed] of using a cash budget instead of the more appropriate[citation needed] accrual budget, for all the budgets in the U.S. government. It is a way of disguising total debt.[citation needed](Source: Webb, Roy, (1991). “The Stealth Budget: Unfunded Liabilities of the Federal Government,” Economic Review (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond), 77,2 May/June.) This provision also provided for the exemption of Social Security and portions of the Medicare trust funds from any general budget cuts beginning in 1993.[45] This change was one way of trying to protect Social Security funds for the future.

As a result of these changes, particularly the tax increases, the Social Security system began to generate a large short-term surplus of funds, intended to cover the added retirement costs of the "baby boomers." Congress invested these surpluses into special series, non-marketable U.S. Treasury securities held by the Social Security Trust Fund. Under the law, the government bonds held by Social Security are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Because the government had adopted the unified budget during the Johnson administration, this surplus offsets the total fiscal debt, making it look much smaller[citation needed]. There has been significant disagreement over whether the Social Security Trust Fund has been saved, or has been used to finance other government programs and other tax cuts.

The Supreme Court and the evolution of Social Security

The Supreme Court has established that no one has any legal right to Social Security benefits. The Court decided, in Flemming v. Nestor (1960), that "entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right". In that case, Ephram Nestor, a Bulgarian immigrant to the United States who made contributions for covered wages for the statutorily required "quarters of coverage" was nonetheless denied benefits after being deported in 1956 for being a member of the Communist party.

The case specifically held:

2. A person covered by the Social Security Act has not such a right in old-age benefit payments as would make every defeasance of "accrued" interests violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Pp. 608-611. (a) The noncontractual interest of an employee covered by the Act cannot be soundly analogized to that of the holder of an annuity, whose right to benefits are based on his contractual premium payments. Pp. 608-610. (b) To engraft upon the Social Security System a concept of "accrued property rights" would deprive it of the flexibility and [363 U.S. 603, 604] boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands and which Congress probably had in mind when it expressly reserved the right to alter, amend or repeal any provision of the Act. Pp. 610-611. 3. Section 202 (n) of the Act cannot be condemned as so lacking in rational justification as to offend due process. Pp. 611-612. 4. Termination of appellee's benefits under 202 (n) does not amount to punishing him without a trial, in violation of Art. III, 2, cl. 3, of the Constitution or the Sixth Amendment; nor is 202 (n) a bill of attainder or ex post facto law, since its purpose is not punitive. Pp. 612-621.[65]

The Supreme Court was also responsible for major changes in Social Security. Many of these cases were pivotal in changing the assumptions about differences in wage earning among men and women in the Social Security system.[56]

  • Goldberg v. Kelly (1970): The Supreme Court ruled that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment required there to be an evidentiary hearing before a recipient can be deprived of government benefits.[27]
  • Weinburger v. Wiesenfeld (1975): A widower claimed that he was entitled to his deceased wife’s benefit, even though he had not been dependent on his wife. The court upheld his claims, stating that automatically granting widows the benefits and denying them to widowers violated equal protection in the Fourteenth Amendment.[57]

Dates of coverage for various workers

  • 1935 All workers in commerce and industry (except railroads) under age 65.
  • 1939 Age restriction eliminated; seamen, bank employees added; additional domestic workers and food-processing workers removed
  • 1946 Railroad and Social Security earnings combined to determine eligibility for and amount of survivor benefits.
  • 1950 Regularly employed farm and domestic workers. Nonfarm self-employed (except professional groups). Federal civilian employees not under retirement system. Americans employed outside United States by American employer. Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. At the option of the State, State and local government employees not under retirement system. Nonprofit organizations could elect coverage for their employees (other than ministers).
  • 1951 Railroad workers with less than 10 years of service, for all benefits. (After October 1951, coverage is retroactive to 1937.)
  • 1954 Farm self-employed. Professional self-employed except lawyers, dentists, doctors, and other medical groups. Additional regularly employed farm and domestic workers. Homeworkers. State and local government employees (except firemen and policemen) under retirement system if agreed to by referendum. Ministers could elect coverage as self-employed.
  • 1956 Members of the uniformed services. Remainder of professional self-employed except doctors. By referendum, firemen and policemen in designated States.
  • 1965 Interns. Self-employed doctors. Tips.
  • 1967 Ministers (unless exemption is claimed on grounds of conscience or religious principles). Firemen under retirement system in all States.
  • 1972 Members of a religious order subject to a vow of poverty.
  • 1983 All federal civilian employees hired after 1983; members of Congress, the President and Vice-President and federal judges; all employees of nonprofit organizations. Covered state and local government employees prohibited from opting out of Social Security.
  • 1990 Employees of state and local governments not covered under a retirement plan.[58]

Retirement, auxiliary, survivors, and disability benefits

The largest component of OASDI is the payment of retirement benefits. Throughout a worker's career, the Social Security Administration keeps track of his or her earnings. The amount of the monthly benefit to which the worker is entitled depends upon that earnings record and upon the age at which the retiree chooses to begin receiving benefits. For the entire history of Social Security, benefits have been paid almost entirely by using revenue from payroll taxes. This is why Social Security is referred to as a pay-as-you-go system. Around 2017, payroll tax revenue is projected to be insufficient to cover Social Security benefits[citation needed] and the system will begin to withdraw money from the Social Security Trust Fund. The existence and economic significance of the Social Security Trust Fund is a subject of considerable dispute because its assets are special Treasury bonds; i.e., the money in the trust fund have been loaned back to the federal government to pay for other expenses (hence it is said that the fund consists of nothing but "IOUs").

Primary Insurance Amount

A worker's retirement income benefit is based on his Primary Insurance Amount, or PIA. The PIA is the average of the highest 35 years of the worker's covered earnings (before deduction for FICA). Covered earnings in any year are limited by that year's Social Security Wage Base, the maximum earnings that could be subject to the OASDI portion of FICA payroll tax ($106,800 in 2010 [59]). If the worker has fewer than 35 years of covered earnings, zeros are used to bring the total number of years of earnings up to 35. Years of covered work more than 2 years before the year the worker turns 62 are indexed upward to reflect the increase in the national wage via the average wage index (AWI) from the time at which the earnings were covered in the past to the value of the AWI two years before the worker turns 62 (which is the most recent year available at the date the worker turns 62). One-twelfth of this 35-year average is the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The PIA then is 90% of the AIME up to the first (low) bendpoint, and 32% of the excess of AIME over the first bendpoint but not in excess of the second (high) bendpoint, plus 15% of the AIME in excess of the second bendpoint. Bendpoints designate the point at which the rates of return on a beneficiary's AIME change.[60][61] In 2008, the bendpoints for calculating the PIA are a change from 90% to 32% at $711 and a change to 15% at $4,288.[61][62] This PIA is then adjusted by automatic cost-of-living adjustments annually starting with the year the worker turns 62. Similar computations based on career average earnings determine disability and survivor benefits. These alternate computations average less years of earnings when the worker dies or is disabled before age 62 and use different base years for the inflation adjustments.

Normal retirement age

The earliest age at which (reduced) benefits are payable is 62. Full retirement benefits depend on a retiree's year of birth.[63] Those born before 1938 have a normal retirement age of 65. Normal retirement age increases by two months for each ensuing year of birth until the 1943 year of birth, when it stays at age 66 years until the year of birth 1955. Thereafter the normal retirement age increases again by two months for each year ending in the 1960 year of birth, when normal retirement age stops at age 67 for all born thereafter.

A worker who starts benefits before normal retirement age has their benefit reduced based on the number of months before normal retirement age they start benefits. This reduction is 5/9 of 1% for each month up to 36 and then 5/12 of 1% for each additional month. This formula gives an 80% benefit at age 62 for a worker with a normal retirement age of 65, a 75% benefit at age 62 for a worker with a normal retirement age of 66, and a 70% benefit at age 62 for a worker with a normal retirement age of 67.

A worker who delays starting retirement benefits past normal retirement age earns delayed retirement credits that increase their benefit until they reach age 70. These credits are also applied to their widow(er)'s benefit. Children and spouse benefits are not affected by these credits.

The normal retirement age for widow(er) benefits shifts the year-of-birth schedule upward by two years, so that those widow(er)s born before 1940 have age 65 as their normal retirement age.

Spouse's benefit

Any current spouse is eligible, and divorced or former spouses are eligible generally if the marriage lasts for at least 10 years. (Civil marriages of same sex couples are not recognized by OASDI for spousal benefits because the federal DOMA law excludes them for federal recognition.) While it is arithmetically possible for one worker to generate spousal benefits for up to five of his/her spouses that he/she may have, each must be in succession after a proper divorce for each after a marriage of at least ten years. Because age 70 is the latest retirement age, and because no state recognizes marriage before teenage years, there are no more than 5 successive spousal benefits in ten-year intervals. This spousal retirement benefit is half the PIA of the worker; this is different from the spousal survivor benefit, which is the full PIA. The benefit is the product of the PIA, times one half, times the early-retirement factor if the spouse is younger than normal retirement age. There is no increase for starting spousal benefits after normal retirement age. This can occur if there is a married couple in which the younger person is the only worker and is more than 5 years younger. Only after the worker applies for retirement benefits may the non-working spouse apply for spousal retirement benefits.

Note that, since the passage of the Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act, in 2000, the spouse and children of a worker who has reached normal retirement age can receive benefits on the worker's record whether the worker is receiving benefits or not. Thus a worker can delay retirement without affecting spousal and children's benefits. The worker may have to begin receipt of benefits, to allow the spousal/children's benefits to begin, and then subsequently suspend his/her own benefits in order to continue the postponement of benefits in exchange for an increased benefit amount.[citation needed]

Widow's benefits

If a worker covered by Social Security dies, a surviving spouse can receive survivors' benefits. In some instances, survivors' benefits are available even to a divorced spouse. A father or mother with minor or disabled children in his or her care can receive benefits which are not actuarially reduced. The earliest age for a nondisabled widow(er)'s benefit is age 60. The benefit is equal to the worker's full retirement benefit for spouses who are at, or older than, normal retirement age. If the surviving spouse starts benefits before normal retirement age, there is an actuarial reduction.[64] If the worker earned delayed retirement credits by waiting to start benefits after their normal retirement age, the surviving spouse will have those credits applied to their benefit.[citation needed]

Children's benefits

Children of a retired, disabled or deceased worker receive benefits as a "dependent" or "survivor" if they are under the age of 18, or between 18 and 19 and have not yet graduated from high school, or are over the age of 18 and were disabled before the age of 22.[64] In a landmark case, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided that a child is entitled to survivor benefits even though she was born two years after her father's death, having been conceived by in vitro fertilization.[65]

Disability

A worker who has worked long enough and recently enough (based on "quarters of coverage" within the recent past) to be covered can receive disability benefits. These benefits start after five full calendar months of disability, regardless of his or her age. The eligibility formula requires a certain number of credits (based on earnings) to have been earned overall, and a certain number within the ten years immediately preceding the disability, but with more-lenient provisions for younger workers who become disabled before having had a chance to compile a long earnings history.

The worker must be unable to continue in his or her previous job and unable to adjust to other work, with age, education, and work experience taken into account; furthermore, the disability must be long-term, lasting 12 months, expected to last 12 months, resulting in death, or expected to result in death.[66] As with the retirement benefit, the amount of the disability benefit payable depends on the worker's age and record of covered earnings.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) uses the same disability criteria as the insured social security disability program, but SSI is not based upon insurance coverage. Instead, a system of means-testing is used to determine whether the claimants' income and net worth fall below certain income and asset thresholds.

Severely disabled children may qualify for SSI. Standards for child disability are different from those for adults.

Disability determination at the Social Security Administration has created the largest system of administrative courts in the United States. Depending on the state of residence, a claimant whose initial application for benefits is denied can request reconsideration or a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Such hearings sometimes involve participation of an independent vocational expert (VE) or medical expert (ME), as called upon by the ALJ.

Reconsideration involves a re-examination of the evidence and, in some cases, the opportunity for a hearing before a (non-attorney) disability hearing officer. The hearing officer then issues a decision in writing, providing justification for his/her finding. If the claimant is denied at the reconsideration stage, (s)he may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. In some states, SSA has implemented a pilot program that eliminates the reconsideration step and allows claimants to appeal an initial denial directly to an Administrative Law Judge.

Because the number of applications for Social Security is very large (approximately 650,000 applications per year), the number of hearings requested by claimants often exceeds the capacity of Administrative Law Judges. The number of hearings requested and availability of Administrative Law Judges varies geographically across the United States. In some areas of the country, it is possible for a claimant to have a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge within 90 days of his/her request. In other areas, waiting times of 18 months are not uncommon.

After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issues a decision in writing. The decision can be Fully Favorable (the ALJ finds the claimant disabled as of the date that (s) he alleges in the application through the present), Partially Favorable (the ALJ finds the claimant disabled at some point, but not as of the date alleged in the application; OR the ALJ finds that the claimant was disabled but has improved), or Unfavorable (the ALJ finds that the claimant was not disabled at all). Claimants can appeal Partially Favorable and Unfavorable decisions to Social Security's Appeals Council, which is in Virginia. The Appeals Council does not hold hearings; it accepts written briefs. Response time from the Appeals Council can range from 12 weeks to more than 3 years.

If the claimant disagrees with the Appeals Council's decision, (s)he can appeal the case in the federal district court for his/her jurisdiction. As in most federal court cases, an unfavorable district court decision can be appealed to the appropriate United States Court of Appeals, and an unfavorable appellate court decision can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Estimated net Social Security benefits under differing circumstances

Single men with different wages and retirement dates

In 2004, Urban Institute economists C. Eugene Steuerle and Adam Carasso created a Web-based Social Security benefits calculator.[67] Using this calculator it is possible to estimate net Social Security benefits (i.e., estimated lifetime benefits minus estimated lifetime FICA taxes paid) for different types of recipients. In the book Democrats and Republicans - Rhetoric and Reality Joseph Fried used the calculator to create graphical depictions of the estimated net benefits of men and women who were at different wage levels, single and married (with stay-at-home spouses), and retiring in different years. These graphs vividly show that generalizations about Social Security benefits may be of little predictive value for any given worker, due to the wide disparity of net benefits for people at different income levels and in different demographic groups. For example, the graph below (Figure 168) shows the impact of wage level and retirement date on a male worker. As income goes up, net benefits get smaller - even negative.

Impact of gender and wage levels on net SS benefits

However, the impact is much greater for the future retiree (in 2045) than for the current retiree (2005). The male earning $95,000 per year and retiring in 2045 is estimated to lose over $200,000 by participating in the Social Security system.[68]

In the next graph (Figure 165) the depicted net benefits are averaged for people turning age 65 anytime during the years 2005 through 2045. (In other words, the disparities shown are not related to retirement.) However, we do see the impact of gender and wage level. Because women tend to live longer, they generally collect Social Security benefits for a longer time. As a result, they get a higher net benefit, on average, no matter what the wage level.[69]

Net lifetime SS benefits of married men and women where only one person works

The next image (Figure 166) shows estimated net benefits for married men and women at different wage levels. In this particular scenario it is assumed that the spouse has little or no earnings and, thus, will be entitled to collect a spousal retirement benefit. According to Fried:

"Two significant factors are evident: First, every column in Figure 166 depicts a net benefit that is higher than any column in Figure 165. In other words, the average married person (with a stay-at-home spouse) gets a greater benefit per FICA tax dollar paid than does the average single person - no matter what the gender or wage level. Second, there is only limited progressivity among married workers with stay-at-home spouses. Review Figure 166 carefully: The net benefits drop as the wage levels increase from $50,000 to $95,000; however, they increase as the wage levels grow from $5,000 to $50,000. In fact, net benefits are lowest for those earning just $5,000 per year."[70]

The last graph shown (Figure 167) is a combination of Figures 165 and 166. In this graph it is very clear why generalizations about the value of Social Security benefits are meaningless. At the $95,000 wage level a married person could be a big winner - getting net benefits of about $165,000. On the other hand, he could lose an estimated $152,000 in net benefits if he remains single. Altogether, there is a "swing" of over $300,000 based upon the marriage decision (and the division of earnings between the spouses). In addition there is a large disparity between the high net benefits of the married person earning $95,000 ($165,152) versus the relatively low net benefits of the man or woman earning just $5,000 ($30,025 or $41,890, depending on gender). In other words, the high earner, in this scenario, gets a far greater return on his FICA tax investment than does the low earner.[71]

Comparison of net SS benefits

In the book How Social Security Picks Your Pocket other factors affecting Social Security net benefits are identified: Generally, people who work for more than 35 years get a lower net benefit - all other factors being equal. People who don't live long after retirement age get a much lower net benefit. Finally, people who derive a high percentage of income from non-wage sources get high Social Security net benefits because they appear to be "poor," when they are not. The progressive benefit formula for Social Security is blind to the income a worker may have from non-wage sources, such as spousal support, dividends and interest, or rental income.[72]

Current operation

Joining and quitting

Obtaining a Social Security number for a child who is not working is voluntary.[73] Further, there is no general legal requirement that individuals join the Social Security program. Although the Social Security Act itself does not require a person to have a Social Security Number (SSN) to live and work in the United States.[74], the Internal Revenue Code does generally require the use of the social security number by individuals for federal tax purposes:

The social security account number issued to an individual for purposes of section 205(c)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act shall, except as shall otherwise be specified under regulations of the Secretary [of the Treasury or his delegate], be used as the identifying number for such individual for purposes of this title.[75]

Importantly, most parents apply for Social Security numbers for their dependent children in order to [76] include them on their income tax returns as a dependent. Everyone filing a tax return, as taxpayer or spouse, must have a Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) since the IRS is unable to process returns or post payments for anyone without an SSN or TIN.

The FICA taxes are imposed on all workers and self-employed persons. Employers are required[77] to report wages for covered employment to Social Security for processing Forms W-2 and W-3. There are some specific wages which are not a part of the Social Security program (discussed below). Internal Revenue Code provisions section 3101 imposes payroll taxes on individuals and employer matching taxes. Section 3102 mandates that employers deduct these payroll taxes from workers' wages before they are paid. Generally, the payroll tax is imposed on everyone in employment earning "wages" as defined in 3121 of the Internal Revenue Code, and also taxes net earnings from self-employment.

Trust fund

Social Security taxes are paid into the Social Security Trust Fund maintained by the U.S. Treasury (technically, the "Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund", as established by 42 U.S.C. § 401(a)). Current year expenses are paid from current Social Security tax revenues. When revenues exceed expenditures, as they have in most years, the excess is invested in special series, non-marketable U.S. Government bonds, thus the Social Security Trust Fund indirectly finances the federal government's general purpose deficit spending. In 2007, the cumulative excess of Social Security taxes and interest received over benefits paid out stood at $2.2 trillion.[78] The Trust Fund is regarded by some as an accounting trick which holds no economic significance. Others argue that it has specific legal significance because the Treasury securities it holds are backed by the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government, which has an obligation to repay its debt. It is important to note, however, that while the Treasury guarantees the interest and principal payments it makes to the Social Security Trust Fund, the benefit payments made from the Social Security Trust Fund to American retirees have no guarantee at all.

The Social Security Administration's authority to make benefit payments as granted by Congress extends only to its current revenues and existing Trust Fund balance, i.e., redemption of its holdings of Treasury securities. Therefore, Social Security's ability to make full payments once annual benefits exceed revenues depends in part on the federal government's ability to make good on the bonds that it has issued to the Social Security trust funds. The federal government's ability to repay Social Security, in turn, is contingent on fiscal policies taken today (which have tended to increase deficits and the percent of the budget spent on interest and principal payments) and in the future.

In July 2008 the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration calculated an unfunded obligation of $13.6 trillion for the Social Security program. The unfunded obligation is the difference between the present value of the cost of Social Security and the present value of the assets in the Trust Fund and the future scheduled tax income of the program. In the Actuarial Note explaining the calculation, the Office of the Chief Actuary wrote that "The term obligation is used in lieu of the term liability, because liability generally indicates a contractual obligation (as in the case of private pensions and insurance) that cannot be altered by the plan sponsor without the agreement of the plan participants."[citation needed]

OHA and ODAR

"The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) administers the hearings and appeals program for the Social Security Administration (SSA). Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) conduct hearings and issue decisions. The Appeals Council considers appeals from hearing decisions, and acts as the final level of administrative review for the Social Security Administration."[79] In 2006, OHA was renamed to ODAR.[80]

Benefit payout comparisons

The current formula used in calculating the benefit level (primary insurance amount or PIA) is very progressive so that sizable benefits could be obtained with much less than the forty to thirty five years of covered wages. Workers who spend their entire careers in covered employment would be unfairly treated relative to workers who spend the first half of their careers not covered (as in municipal employment) by OASDI but are covered by an alternative plan. These people who later switch into covered employment would be entitled to both the alternative non OASDI pension (presumably from a state or municipality) and get an Old Age retirement benefit from Social Security. The progressivity of the PIA formula would in effect allow these workers to double dip. Therefore, there are two provisions that mitigate the effect of the double dipping: one for those who obtain OASDI benefits from a spouse who is a covered worker and the other for those who split their careers in covered and noncovered employment. This latter double dip has a claw back factor which starts at maximum at 10 years and grades out to zero at 30 years so that there is no clawback for those with 30 years or more of covered wages. This is to prevent those with abnormally low AIMEs due to few years of covered status from being treated as lifetime (say 44 years) career low wage earners with low AIMEs.

International agreements

People sometimes relocate from one country to another, either permanently or on a limited-time basis. This presents challenges to businesses, governments, and individuals seeking to ensure future benefits or having to deal with taxation authorities in multiple countries. To that end, the Social Security Administration has signed treaties, often referred to as Totalization Agreements, with other social insurance programs in various foreign countries.[81]

Overall, these agreements serve two main purposes. First, they eliminate dual Social Security taxation, the situation that occurs when a worker from one country works in another country and is required to pay Social Security taxes to both countries on the same earnings. Second, the agreements help fill gaps in benefit protection for workers who have divided their careers between the United States and another country.

The following countries have signed totalization agreements with the SSA (and the date the agreement became effective):[82]

Social Security number

A side effect of the Social Security program in the United States has been the near-universal adaptation of the program's identification number, the Social Security number, as the national identification number in the United States. The social security number, or SSN, is issued pursuant to section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act, codified as 42 U.S.C. § 405(c)(2). The government originally stated that the SSN would not be a means of identification, but currently a multitude of U.S. entities use the Social Security number as a personal identifier. These include government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the military (which prints it on service members' dog tags and uses it in a number of ways to identify personnel, including the name, rank and "serial number" one would furnish the enemy as a POW) as well as private agencies such as banks, colleges and universities, health insurance companies, and employers.

The Social Security Administration admits that the Social Security Act does not require a person to have a Social Security Number to live and work in the United States, nor does it require an SSN simply for the purpose of having one.[74]

The Privacy Act of 1974 was in part intended to limit usage of the Social Security number as a means of identification. Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of section 7 of the Privacy Act, an uncodified provision, states in part:

(1) It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual's refusal to disclose his social security account number.

However, paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of section 7 of the Privacy Act provides in part:

(2) the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply with respect to -
(A) any disclosure which is required by Federal statute, or
(B) the disclosure of a social security number to any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual.[83]

The exceptions under section 7 of the Privacy Act include the Internal Revenue Code requirement that social security numbers be used as taxpayer identification numbers for individuals.[84]

Demographic and revenue projections

In each year since 1982, OASDI tax receipts, interest payments and other income have exceeded benefit payments and other expenditures, most recently (in 2004) by more than $150 billion.[85] As the "baby boomers" move out of the work force and into retirement, however, it is anticipated that expenses will come to exceed Social Security tax revenues in 2010 and 2011, and then briefly regaining some solvency in 2012 until plunging into permanent cash-flow negative operations from 2016 onward.

According to most projections, the Social Security trust fund will begin drawing on its Treasury Notes toward the end of the next decade (around 2018 or 2019), at which time the repayment of these notes will have to be financed from the general fund. At some time thereafter, variously estimated as 2041 (by the Social Security Administration[86]) or 2052 (by the Congressional Budget Office[87]), the Social Security Trust Fund will have exhausted the claim on general revenues that had been built up during the years of surplus. At that point, current Social Security tax receipts would be sufficient to fund 74 or 78% of the promised benefits, according to the two respective projections. The Social Security Trustees suggest that either the payroll tax could increase to 16.41 percent in 2041 and steadily increased to 17.60 percent in 2081 or a cut in benefits by 25 percent in 2041 and steadily increased to an overall cut of 30 percent in 2081.[88]

The Social Security Administration projects that the demographic situation will stabilize. The cash flow deficit in the Social Security system will have leveled off as a share of the economy. This projection has come into question. Some demographers argue that life expectancy will improve more than projected by the Social Security Trustees, a development that would make solvency worse. Some economists believe future productivity growth will be higher than the current projections by the Social Security Trustees. In this case, the Social Security shortfall would be smaller than currently projected.

Tables published by the government's National Center for Health Statistics show that life expectancy at birth was 47.3 years in 1900, rose to 68.2 by 1950 and reached 77.3 in 2002. The latest annual report of the Social Security trustees projects that life expectancy will increase just six years in the next seven decades, to 83 in 2075. A separate set of projections, by the Census Bureau, shows more rapid growth.

("Social Security Underestimates Future Life Spans, Critics Say"[89]) The Census Bureau projection is that the longer life spans projected for 2075 by the Social Security Administration will be reached in 2050. Other experts, however, think that the past gains in life expectancy cannot be repeated, and add that the adverse effect on the system's finances may be partly offset if health improvements induce people to stay in the workforce longer.

Actuarial science, of the kind used to project the future solvency of social security, is by nature inexact. The SSA actually makes three predictions: optimistic, midline, and pessimistic (until the late 1980s it made 4 projections). The Social Security crisis that was developing prior to the 1983 reforms resulted from midline projections that turned out to be too optimistic. It has been argued that the overly pessimistic projections of the mid to late 1990s were partly the result of the low economic growth (according to actuary David Langer) assumptions which resulted in the projected exhaustion date being pushed back (from 2028 to 2042) with each successive Trustee's report.[citation needed] During the heavy-boom years of the '90s, the midline projections were too pessimistic. Obviously, projecting out 75 years is a significant challenge and, as such, the actual situation might be much better or much worse than predicted.

The Social Security Advisory Board has on three occasions since 1999 appointed a Technical Advisory Panel to review the methods and assumptions used in the annual projections for the Social Security trust funds. The most recent report of the Technical Advisory Panel, released in June 2008 with a copyright date of October 2007, includes a number of recommendations for improving the Social Security projections.[90][91]

Increased spending for Social Security will occur at the same time as increases in Medicare, as a result of the aging of the baby boomers. One projection illustrates the relationship between the two programs:

From 2004 to 2030, the combined spending on Social Security and Medicare is expected to rise from 7% of national income (gross domestic product) to 13%. Two-thirds of the increase occurs in Medicare.[92]

Online benefits estimate

On July 22, 2008 the Social Security Administration introduced a new online benefits estimator.[93] A worker who has enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits, but who is not currently receiving benefits on his or her own Social Security record and who is not a Medicare beneficiary, can obtain an estimate of the retirement benefit that will be provided, for different assumptions about age at retirement.

Taxation

Tax on wages and self-employment income

Benefits are funded by taxes imposed on wages of employees and self-employed persons. As explained below, in the case of employment, the employer and employee are each responsible for one half of the Social Security tax, with the employee's half being withheld from the employee's pay check. In the case of self-employed persons (i.e., independent contractors), the self-employed person is responsible for the entire amount of Social Security tax.

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) (codified in the Internal Revenue Code) imposes a Social Security withholding tax equal to 6.20% of the gross wage amount, up to but not exceeding the Social Security Wage Base ($97,500 for 2007; $102,000 for 2008; and $106,800 for 2009). The same 6.20% tax is imposed on employers. For each calendar year for which the worker is assessed the FICA contribution, the SSA credits those wages as that year's covered wages. The income cutoff is adjusted yearly for inflation and other factors.

A separate payroll tax of 1.45% of an employee's income is paid directly by the employer, and an additional 1.45% deducted from the employee's paycheck, yielding a total tax rate of 2.90%. There is no maximum limit on this portion of the tax. This portion of the tax is used to fund the Medicare program, which is primarily responsible for providing health benefits to retirees.

The combined tax rate of these two federal programs is 15.30% (7.65% paid by the employee and 7.65% paid by the employer).

For self-employed workers (who technically are not employees and are deemed not to be earning "wages" for Federal tax purposes), the self-employment tax, imposed by the Self-Employment Contributions Act of 1954, codified as Chapter 2 of Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 14011403, is 15.3% of "net earnings from self-employment."[94] In essence, a self-employed individual pays both the employee and employer share of the tax, although half of the self-employment tax (the "employer share") is deductible when calculating the individual's federal income tax.[95][96]

If an employee has overpaid payroll taxes by having more than one job or switching jobs during the year, the excess taxes will be refunded when the employee files his federal income tax return. Any excess taxes paid by employers, however, are not refundable to the employers.

Wages not subject to tax

Workers are not required to pay Social Security taxes on wages from certain types of work:[97]

  • Wages received by certain state or local government workers participating in their employers' alternative retirement system.
  • Net annual earnings from self-employment of less than $400.
  • Wages received for service as an election worker, if less than $1,400 a year (in 2008).
  • Wages received for working as a household employee, if less than $1,700 per year (in 2009).
  • Wages received by college students working under Federal Work Study programs, graduate students receiving stipends while working as teaching assistants, research assistants, or on fellowships, and most postdoctoral researchers.
  • Earnings received for serving as a minister (or for similar religious service) if the person has a conscientious objection to public insurance because of personal religious considerations, but only for "qualified services" performed for a religious organization.
  • Other minor exceptions.

Federal income taxation of benefits

The benefits received by retirees were not originally taxed as income in the year of receipt. Beginning in tax year 1984, with the Reagan-era reforms to repair the system's projected insolvency, retirees with incomes over $25,000 (in the case of married persons filing separately who did not live with the spouse at any time during the year, and for persons filing as "single"), or with combined incomes over $32,000 (if married filing jointly) or, in certain cases, any income amount (if married filing separately from the spouse in a year in which the taxpayer lived with the spouse at any time) generally saw part of the retiree benefits subject to Federal income tax. In 1984, the portion of the benefits potentially subject to tax was 50%.[98] Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 1993, the portion of benefits potentially subject to tax was increased to 85% beginning with the 1994 tax year.[99]

Criticism of the program

Claim that it discriminates against the poor and middle-class

Critics, such as libertarian Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman, say that Social Security redistributes wealth from the poor to the wealthy.[100][101] Workers must pay 12.4%, including a 6.2% employer contribution, on their wages below the Social Security Wage Base ($106,800, in 2010), but no tax on income in excess of this amount.[102] Therefore, high earners pay a lower percentage of their total income because of the income caps; because of this, payroll taxes are often viewed as being regressive. Furthermore, wealthier individuals generally have higher life expectancies and thus may expect to receive larger benefits for a longer period than poorer taxpayers.[103] A single individual who dies before age 62, who is more likely to be poor, receives no retirement benefits despite his years of paying Social Security tax. On the other hand, an individual who lives to age 100, who is more likely to be wealthy, is guaranteed payments that are more than he paid into the system.[104]

Supporters of Social Security say that despite its regressive tax formula, Social Security benefits are calculated using a progressive benefit formula that replaces a much higher percentage of low-income workers' pre-retirement income than that of higher-income workers (although these low-income workers pay a higher percentage of their pre-retirement income).[105] They also point to numerous studies that show that, relative to high-income workers, Social Security disability and survivor benefits paid on behalf of low-income workers more than offset any retirement benefits that may be lost because of shorter life expectancy.[106][107][108] Other research asserts that survivor benefits, allegedly an offset, actually exacerbate the problem because survivor benefits are denied to single individuals, including widow(er)s married less than nine months (except in certain situations),[109] divorced widow(er)s married less than 10 years,[110] and co-habiting or same-sex couples, unless they are legally married in their state of residence.[103][111][112][113][114] Unmarried individuals tend to be less wealthy and minorities.[115]

Claim that politicians exempted themselves from the tax

Critics of Social Security have said [116] that the politicians who created Social Security exempted themselves from having to pay the Social Security tax. When the federal government created Social Security, all federal employees, including the President and members of Congress, were exempt from having to pay the Social Security tax, and they received no Social Security benefits. This law was changed by the Social Security Amendments of 1983, which brought within the Social Security system all members of Congress, the President and the Vice President, federal judges, and certain executive-level political appointees, as well as all federal employees hired in any capacity on or after January 1, 1984.[117]

Claim that the government lied about the maximum tax

George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams claimed that the federal government has broken its own promise regarding the maximum Social Security tax.[118] Williams used data from the federal government to back up his claim.

According to a 1936 pamphlet on the Social Security website, the federal government promised the following maximum level of taxation for Social Security, "... beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay." [119]

However, according to the Social Security website, by the year 2008, the tax rate was 6.2% each for the employer and employee, and the maximum income level that was subject to the tax was $102,000 raising the bar to $6,324 maximum contribution by both employee and employer (total $12,648).[120]

In 2005, Williams wrote, "Had Congress lived up to those promises, where $3,000 was the maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax, controlling for inflation, today's $50,000-a-year wage earner would pay about $700 in Social Security taxes, as opposed to the more than $3,000 that he pays today." [118]

According to the Social Security website, "The tax rate in the original 1935 law was 1% each on the employer and the employee, on the first $3,000 of earnings. This rate was increased on a regular schedule in four steps so that by 1949 the rate would be 3% each on the first $3,000. The figure was never $1,400, and the rate was never fixed for all time at 1%." [121]

Claim that it gives a low rate of return

Critics of Social Security [122] claim that it gives a low rate of return, compared to what is obtained through private retirement accounts. For example, critics point out [122] that under the Social Security laws as they existed at that time, several thousand employees of Galveston County, Texas were allowed to opt out of the Social Security program in the early 1980s, and have their money placed in a private retirement plan instead. While employees who earned $50,000 per year would have collected $1,302 per month in Social Security benefits, the private plan paid them $6,843 per month. While employees who earned $20,000 per year would have collected $775 per month in Social Security benefits, the private plan paid them $2,740 per month, at interest rates prevailing in 1996.[122] While some advocates of privatization of Social Security point to the Galveston pension plan as a model for Social Security reform, critics point to a GAO report to the House Ways and Means Committee, which indicates that, for low and middle income employees, particularly those with shorter work histories, the outcome may be less favorable.

Claim that it is a pyramid or Ponzi scheme

Economist Thomas Sowell argues in his books and columns that Social Security is a pyramid scheme. For example, in "Social Security: The Enron That Politicians Have In the Closet", he writes:

Social Security has been a pyramid scheme from the beginning. Those who paid in first received money from those who paid in second — and so on, generation after generation. This was great so long as the small generation when Social Security began was being supported by larger generations resulting from the baby boom.

But, like all pyramid schemes, the whole thing is in big trouble once the pyramid stops growing. When the baby boomers retire, that will be the moment of truth — or of more artful lies. Just like Enron.

Sowell's critics say his Ponzi metaphor is not literally accurate. A Ponzi structure is inherently unsustainable, whereas Social Security, enacted before the baby boom existed, simply relies like any non-profit endeavor on projections of revenues. When revenues appear set to change, adjustments become necessary.

Current controversies

Proposals to reform of the Social Security system have led to heated debate, centering around funding of the program. In particular, proposals to privatize funding have caused great controversy.

Contrast with private pensions

Although Social Security is sometimes compared to private pensions, this is an improper comparison since Social Security is social insurance and not a retirement plan. The payment of disability benefits also distinguishes Social Security from most private pensions. In other ways the two systems are fundamentally different as well. A private pension fund accumulates the money paid into it, eventually using those reserves to pay pensions to the workers who contributed to the fund; and a private system is not universal. Social Security cannot "prefund" by investing in marketable assets such as equities, because federal law prohibits it from investing in assets other than those backed by the U.S. government. As a result, its investments to date have been limited to "special" non-negotiable securities issued by the U.S. Treasury, although some[citation needed] argue that debt issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association and other quasi-governmental organizations could meet legal standards. Social Security cannot by law invest in private equities, although some other countries (such as Canada) and some states permit their pension funds to invest in private equities. As a universal system, Social Security operates as a pipeline, through which current tax receipts from workers are used to pay current benefits to retirees, survivors, and the disabled. There is an excess of taxes withheld over benefits paid, and by law this excess is invested in Treasury securities (not in private equities) as described above.

Two broad categories of private pension plans are "defined benefit pension plans" and "defined contribution pension plans." Of these two, Social Security is more similar to a defined benefit pension plan. In a defined benefit pension plan, the benefits ultimately received are based on some sort of pre-determined formula (such as one based on years worked and highest salary earned). Defined benefit pension plans generally do not include separate accounts for each participant. By contrast, in a defined contribution pension plan each participant has a specific account with funds put into that account (by the employer or the participant, or both), and the ultimate benefit is based on the amount in that account at the time of retirement. Some have proposed that the Social Security system be modified to provide for the option of individual accounts (in effect, to make the system, at least in part, more like a defined contribution pension plan). Specifically, on February 2, 2005, President George W. Bush made Social Security a prominent theme of his State of the Union Address.[123] He described the Social Security system as "headed for bankruptcy", and outlined, in general terms, a proposal based on partial privatization. Critics responded that privatization would worsen the program's solvency outlook and would require huge new borrowing. See Social Security debate (United States).

Both "defined benefit" and "defined contribution" private pension plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which requires employers to provide minimum levels of funding to support "defined benefits" pensions. The purpose is to protect the workers from corporate mismanagement and outright bankruptcy, although in practice many private pension funds have fallen short in recent years. In terms of financial structure, the current Social Security system is analogous to an underfunded "defined benefit" pension ("underfunded" meaning not that it is in trouble, but that its "savings" are not enough to pay future benefits without collecting future tax revenues).

Court interpretation of the Act to provide benefits

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has indicated that the Social Security Act has a moral purpose and should be liberally interpreted in favor of claimants when deciding what counted as covered wages for purposes of meeting the quarters of coverage requirement to make a worker eligible for benefits.[124] That court has also stated: ". . . [T]he regulations should be liberally applied in favor of beneficiaries" when deciding a case in favor of a felon who had his disability payments retroactively terminated upon incarceration.[125] According to the court, that the Social Security Act "should be liberally construed in favor of those seeking its benefits can not be doubted."[126] “The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey's end is near.”[127]

Constitutionality

The constitutionality of Social Security is intricately linked to the evolving nature of Supreme Court jurisprudence on federal power (the 20th century saw a dramatic increase in allowed congressional action). When Social Security was first passed, there were significant questions over its constitutionality as the Court had found another pension scheme, the original Railroad Retirement Act, to violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Some, such as University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein and Robert Nozick, have argued that Social Security should be unconstitutional.[citation needed]

In the 1937 U.S. Supreme Court case of Helvering v. Davis[128], the Court examined the constitutionality of Social Security when George Davis of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Boston sued in connection with the Social Security tax. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts first upheld the tax. The District Court judgment was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. Commissioner Guy Helvering of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (now the Internal Revenue Service) took the case to the Supreme Court, and the Court upheld the validity of the tax.

During the 1930s President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the midst of promoting the passage of a large number of social welfare programs under the New Deal and the High Court struck down many of those programs (such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Recovery Act) as unconstitutional. Modified versions of the affected programs were afterwards approved by the Court, including Social Security.

When Helvering v. Davis was argued before the Court, the larger issue of constitutionality of the old-age insurance portion of Social Security was not decided. The case was limited to whether the payroll tax was a suitable use of Congress's taxing power. Despite this, no serious challenges regarding the system's constitutionality are now being litigated, and Congress's spending power may be more coextensive, as shown in cases like South Dakota v. Dole[129] during the Reagan Administration.

Fraud and abuse

Social security number theft

Because Social Security Numbers have become useful in identity theft and other forms of crime, various schemes have been perpetrated to acquire valid Social Security Numbers and related identity information.

In February 2006, the Social Security Administration received several reports of an email message being circulated addressed to “Dear Social Security Number And Card owner” and purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. The message informs the reader “that someone illegally is using your Social Security number and assuming your identity” and directs the reader to a website designed to look like Social Security’s Internet website.

“I am outraged that someone would target an unsuspecting public in this manner,” said Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart. “I have asked the Inspector General to use all the resources at his command to find and prosecute whoever is perpetrating this fraud.” See Press Release.

Once directed to the phony website, the individual is reportedly asked to confirm his or her identity with “Social Security and bank information.” Specific information about the individual’s credit card number, expiration date and PIN is then requested. “Whether on our online website or by phone, Social Security will never ask you for your credit card information or your PIN” Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart reported.

Social Security Administration Inspector General O’Carroll recommended people always take precautions when giving out personal information. “You should never provide your Social Security number or other personal information over the Internet or by telephone unless you are extremely confident of the source to whom you are providing the information,” O’Carroll said. See Press Release.

Fraud in the acquisition and use of benefits

Given the vast size of the program, fraud occurs. The Social Security Administration has its own investigatory group, Continuing Disability Investigations (CDI). In addition, the Social Security Administration may request investigatory assistance from other federal law enforcement agencies including the Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.[citation needed]

Restrictions on potentially deceptive communications

Because of the importance of Social Security to millions of Americans, many direct-mail marketers packaged their mailings to resemble official communications from the Social Security Administration, hoping that recipients would be more likely to open them. In response, Congress amended the Social Security Act in 1988 to prohibit the private use of the phrase "Social Security" and several related terms in any way that would convey a false impression of approval from the Social Security Administration. The constitutionality of this law (42 U.S.C. § 1140) was upheld in United Seniors Association, Inc. v. Social Security Administration, 423 F.3d 397 (4th Cir. 2005), cert den 547 U.S. 1162; 126 S.Ct. 2346 (2006) (text at Findlaw [130]).

See also

References

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Works referenced

  • Achenbaum, Andrew. Social Security Visions and Revisions, 1986
  • Kessler-Harris, Alice. In Pursuit of Equity: women, men, and the quest for economic citizenship in 20th century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Literature

Basic

  • ‘Reforming European Pension Systems’ (Arun Muralidhar and Serge Allegreza (Eds.)), Amsterdam, NL and West Lafayette, Indiana, USA: Dutch University Press, Rozenberg Publishers and Purdue University Press (essays in memory of Franco Modigliani)

Further reading

  • Modigliani, Franco. Rethinking pension reform / Franco Modigliani, Arun Muralidhar. Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Muralidhar, Arun S. Innovations in pension fund management / Arun S. Muralidhar. Stanford, Calif. ; [Great Britain] : Stanford Economics + Finance, c2001.
  • ‘The Three Pillars of Wisdom? A Reader on Globalization, World Bank Pension Models and Welfare Society’ (Arno Tausch, Editor). Nova Science Hauppauge, New York, 2003
  • Community of Minds : Working Together - The $44 Trillion Abyss - 2003 Fortune Magazine[1]
  • Social Security Suicide - AlterNet[2]
  • "The Fake Crisis"[3]- Rolling Stone
  • "What Does Price Indexing Mean for Social Security Benefits?"[4]- from Center for Retirement Research, January, 2005 (explanation of wage indexing versus price indexing)
  • Getting a grip on Social Security: The flaw in the system[5]
  • Center for American Progress: Social Security by the Numbers (reference guide with stats)[6]
  • "An ownership society evolves: who says individualized accounts are a better way to solve social problems? The laws of nature"[7] by William Tucker (relates self-organization theory to Social Security)
  • Edward D. Berkowitz and Eric R. Kingson. Social Security and Medicare: A Policy Primer. Auburn House. 1993 online 214 pp
  • Shirley Jenkins, et al., eds. Social Security in International Perspective: Essays in Honor of Eveline M. Burns Columbia University Press, 1969 online
  • Patricia P. Martin and David A. Weaver. "Social Security: A Program and Policy History," Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 66 No. 1, 2005 online version
  • Myers, Robert J. Social Security. University of Pennsylvania Press. 1993.
  • Schieber, Sylvester J., and John B. Shoven. The Real Deal. Yale University Press 1999.
  • Max J. Skidmore; Social Security and Its Enemies: The Case for America's Most Efficient Insurance Program Westview Press, 1999 online
  • Michael D. Tanner; Social Security and Its Discontents: Perspectives on Choice Cato Institute, 2004 online libertarian criticism
  • David Traver Social Security Disability Advocate's Handbook James Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1-58012-033-4
  • Social Security Handbook, Germania Publishing, 2006.
  • Social Security Program Operations Manual System. Social Security Administration. https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/partlist!OpenView.
  • Brown, Jeffrey R., Jeffrey B. Liebman, and David A. Wise (2009). Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226076485. 

Reading notes

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Acts of the 74th United States Congress by United States Congress
Session 1, Chapter 531:
Public Law 74-271
Social Security Act
Wikipedia logo Wikipedia has more on:
Social Security Act.
49 Stat. 620, H.R. 7260, enacted August 14, 1935.
External link to the current revision of the Social Security Act (As Amended through January 1, 2009)
Note: This is the original legislation as it was initially enacted. Like many laws, this statute may have since been amended once or many times, and the text contained herein may no longer be legally current.
74TH UNITED STATES CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

An Act

To provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes.

Contents

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

TITLE I—GRANTS TO STATES FOR OLD-AGE ASSISTANCE

SECTION 1. Appropriation

For the purpose of enabling each State to furnish financial assistance, as far as practicable under the conditions in such State, to aged needy individuals, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1936, the sum of $49,750,000, and there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year thereafter a sum sufficient to carry out the purposes of this title. The sums made available under this section shall be used for making payments to States which have submitted, and had approved by the Social Security Board established by Title VII (hereinafter referred to as the Board ), State plans for old-age assistance.

SEC. 2. State Old-Age Assistance Plans

(a) A State plan for old-age assistance must
(1) provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them;
(2) provide for financial participation by the State;
(3) either provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to administer the plan, or provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to supervise the administration of the plan;
(4) provide for granting to any individual, whose claim for old-age assistance is denied, an opportunity for a fair hearing before such State agency;
(5) provide such methods of administration (other than those relating to selection, tenure of office, and compensation of personnel) as are found by the Board to be necessary for the efficient operation of the plan;
(6) provide that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Board may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Board may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports; and
(7) provide that, if the State or any of its political subdivisions collects from the estate of any recipient of old-age assistance any amount with respect to old-age assistance furnished him under the plan, one-half of the net amount so collected shall be promptly paid to the United States. Any payment so made shall be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation for the purposes of this title.
(b) The Board shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a), except that it shall not approve any plan which imposes, as a condition of eligibility for old-age assistance under the plan-
(1) An age requirement of more than sixty-five years, except that the plan may impose, effective until January 1, 1940, an age requirement of as much as seventy years; or
(2) Any residence requirement which excludes any resident of the State who has resided therein five years during the nine years immediately preceding the application for old-age assistance and has resided therein continuously for one year immediately preceding the application; or (3) Any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States.

SEC. 3. Payment To States

(a) From the sums appropriated therefor, the Secretary of the Treasury shall pay to each State which has an approved plan for old-age assistance, for each quarter, beginning with the quarter commencing July 1, 1935,
(1) an amount, which shall be used exclusively as old-age assistance, equal to one-half of the total of the sums expended during such quarter as old-age assistance under the State plan with respect to each individual who at the time of such expenditure is sixty-five years of age or older and is not an inmate of a public institution, not counting so much of such expenditure with respect to any individual for any month as exceeds $30, and
(2) 5 per centum of such amount, which shall be used for paying the costs of administering the State plan or for old-age assistance, or both, and for no other purpose: Provided, That the State plan, in order to be approved by the Board, need not provide for financial participation before July 1, 1937, by the State, in the case of any State which the Board, upon application by the State and after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State, finds is prevented by its constitution from providing such financial participation.
(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows:
(1) The Board shall, prior to the beginning of each quarter, estimate the amount to be paid to the State for such quarter under the provisions of clause (1) of subsection (a), such estimate to be based on
(A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such clause, and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditures in such quarter, and if such amount is less than one-half of the total sum of such estimated expenditures, the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived,
(B) records showing the number of aged individuals in the State, and
(C) such other investigation as the Board may find necessary.
(2) The Board shall then certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the amount so estimated by the Board, reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any sum by which it finds that its estimate for any prior quarter was greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the State under clause (1) of subsection (a) for such quarter, except to the extent that such sum has been applied to make the amount certified for any prior quarter greater or less than the amount estimated by the Board for such prior quarter.
(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall thereupon, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the State, at the time or times fixed by the Board, the amount so certified, increased by 5 per centum.

SEC. 4. Operation Of State Plans

In the case of any State plan for old-age assistance which has been approved by the Board, if the Board, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of such plan, finds-
(1) that the plan has been so changed as to impose any age, residence, or citizenship requirement prohibited by section 2 (b), or that in the administration of the plan any such prohibited requirement is imposed, with the knowledge of such State agency, in a substantial number of cases; or
(2) that in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply substantially with any provision required by section 2 (a) to be included in the plan; the Board shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until the Board is satisfied that such prohibited requirement is no longer so imposed, and that there is no longer any such failure to comply. Until it is so satisfied it shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.

SEC. 5. Administration

There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $250,000, for all necessary expenses of the Board in administering the provisions of this title.

SEC. 6. Definition

When used in this title the term old age assistance means money payments to aged individuals.

TITLE II-FEDERAL OLD-AGE BENEFITS OLD-AGE RESERVE ACCOUNT

Section 201.

(a) There is hereby created an account in the Treasury of the United States to be known as the Old-Age Reserve Account hereinafter in this title called the Account. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Account for each fiscal year, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1937, an amount sufficient as an annual premium to provide for the payments required under this title, such amount to be determined on a reserve basis in accordance with accepted actuarial principles, and based upon such tables of mortality as the Secretary of the Treasury shall from time to time adopt, and upon an interest rate of 3 per centum per annum compounded annually. The Secretary of the Treasury shall submit annually to the Bureau of the Budget an estimate of the appropriations to be made to the Account. ====
(b) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to invest such portion of the amounts credited to the Account as is not, in his judgment, required to meet current withdrawals. Such investment may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States or in obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States. For such purpose such obligations may be acquired
(1) on original issue at par, or
(2) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price. The purposes for which obligations of the United States may be issued under the Second Liberty Bond Act, as amended, are hereby extended to authorize the issuance at par of special obligations exclusively to the Account. Such special obligations shall bear interest at the rate of 3 per centum per annum. Obligations other than such special obligations may be acquired for the Account only on such terms as to provide an investment yield of not less than 3 per centum per annum.
(c) Any obligations acquired by the Account (except special obligations issued exclusively to the Account) may be sold at the market price, and such special obligations may be redeemed at par plus accrued interest.
(d) The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Account shall be credited to and form a part of the Account.
(e) All amounts credited to the Account shall be available for making payments required under this title.
(f) The Secretary of the Treasury shall include in his annual report the actuarial status of the Account.

SEC. 202. Old-Age Benefit Payments

(a) Every qualified individual (as defined in section 210) shall be entitled to receive, with respect to the period beginning on the date he attains the age of sixty-five, or on January 1, 1942, whichever is the later, and ending on the date of his death, an old-age benefit (payable as nearly as practicable in equal monthly installments) as follows:
(1) If the total wages (as defined in section 210) determined by the Board to have been paid to him, with respect to employment (as defined in section 210) after December 31, 1936, and before he attained the age of sixty-five, were not more than $3,000, the old-age benefit shall be at a monthly rate of one-half of 1 per centum of such total wages;
(2) If such total wages were more than $3,000, the old-age benefit shall be at a monthly rate equal to the sum of the following:
(A) One-half of 1 per centum of $3,000; plus
(B) One-twelfth of 1 per centum of the amount by which such total wages exceeded $3,000 and did not exceed $45,000; plus
(C) One-twenty-fourth of 1 per centum of the amount by which such total wages exceeded $45,000.
(b) In no case shall the monthly rate computed under subsection (a) exceed $85.
(c) If the Board finds at any time that more or less than the correct amount has theretofore been paid to any individual under this section, then, under regulations made by the Board, proper adjustments shall be made in connection with subsequent payments under this section to the same individual.
(d) Whenever the Board finds that any qualified individual has received wages with respect to regular employment after he attained the age of sixty-five, the old-age benefit payable to such individual shall be reduced, for each calendar month in any part of which such regular employment occurred, by an amount equal to one month s benefit. Such reduction shall be made, under regulations prescribed by the Board, by deductions from one or more payments of old-age benefit to such individual.

SEC. 203. Payments Upon Death

(a) If any individual dies before attaining the age of sixty-five, there shall be paid to his estate an amount equal to 3 « per centum of the total wages determined by the Board to have been paid to him, with respect to employment after December 31, 1936.
(b) If the Board finds that the correct amount of the old-age benefit payable to a qualified individual during his life under section 202 was less than 3 « per centum of the total wages by which such old-age benefit was measurable, then there shall be paid to his estate a sum equal to the amount, if any, by which such 3 « per centum exceeds the amount (whether more or less than the correct amount) paid to him during his life as old-age benefit.
(c) If the Board finds that the total amount paid to a qualified individual under an old-age benefit during his life was less than the correct amount to which he was entitled under section 202, and that the correct amount of such old-age benefit was 3 « per centum or more of the total wages by which such old-age benefit was measurable, then there shall be paid to his estate a sum equal to the amount, if any, by which the correct amount of the old-age benefit exceeds the amount which was so paid to him during his life.

SEC. 204. Payments To Aged Individuals Not Qualified For Benefits

(a) There shall be paid in a lump sum to any individual who, upon attaining the age of sixty-five, is not a qualified individual, an amount equal to 3 « per centum of the total wages determined by the Board to have been paid to him, with respect to employment after December 31, 1936, and before he attained the age of sixty-five.
(b) After any individual becomes entitled to any payment under subsection (a), no other payment shall be made under this title in any manner measured by wages paid to him, except that any part of any payment under subsection (a) which is not paid to him before his death shall be paid to his estate.

SEC. 205. Amounts Of $500 Or Less Payable To Estates

If any amount payable to an estate under section 203 or 204 is $500 or less, such amount may, under regulations prescribed by the Board, be paid to the persons found by the Board to be entitled thereto under the law of the State in which the deceased was domiciled, without the necessity of compliance with the requirements of law with respect to the administration of such estate.

SEC. 206. Overpayments During Life

If the Board finds that the total amount paid to a qualified individual under an old-age benefit during his life was more than the correct amount to which he was entitled under section 202, and was 3 « per centum or more of the total wages by which such old-age benefit was measurable, then upon his death there shall be repaid to the United States by his estate the amount, if any, by which such total amount paid to him during his life exceeds whichever of the following is the greater:
(1) Such 3 « per centum, or
(2) the correct amount to which he was entitled under section 202.

SEC. 207. Method Of Making Payments

The Board shall from time to time certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the name and address of each person entitled to receive a payment under this title, the amount of such payment, and the time at which it should be made, and the Secretary of the Treasury through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department, and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, shall make payment in accordance with the certification by the Board.

SEC. 208. Assignment

The right of any person to any future payment under this title shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this title shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.

SEC. 209. Penalties

Whoever in any application for any payment under this title makes any false statement as to any material fact, knowing such statement to be false, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

SEC. 210. Definitions

When used in this title—
(a) The term wages means all remuneration for employment, including the cash value of all remuneration paid in any medium other than cash; except that such term shall not include that part of the remuneration which, after remuneration equal to $3,000 has been paid to an individual by an employer with respect to employment during any calendar year, is paid to such employer with respect to employment during such calendar year.
(b) The term employment means any service, of whatever nature, performed within the United States by an employee for his employer, except-
(1) Agricultural labor;
(2) Domestic service in a private home;
(3) Casual labor not in the course of the employer s trade or business;
(4) Service performed as an officer or member of the crew of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States or of any foreign country;
(5) Service performed in the employ of the United States Government or of an instrumentality of the United States;
(6) Service performed in the employ of a State, a political subdivision thereof, or an instrumentality of one or more States or political subdivisions;
(7) Service performed in the employ of a corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
(c) The term qualified individual means any individual with respect to whom it appears to the satisfaction of the Board that-
(1) He is at least sixty-five years of age; and
(2) The total amount of wages paid to him, with respect to employment after December 31, 1936, and before he attained the age of sixty-five, was not less than $2,000; and
(3) Wages were paid to him, with respect to employment on some five days after December 31, 1936, and before he attained the age of sixty-five, each day being in a different calendar year.

TITLE III-GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATION

SECTION 301.

For the purpose of assisting the States in the administration of their unemployment compensation laws, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $4,000,000, and for each fiscal year thereafter the sum of $49,000,000, to be used as hereinafter provided.

SEC. 302. Payments To States

(a) The Board shall from time to time certify to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment to each State which has an unemployment compensation law approved by the Board under Title IX, such amounts as the Board determines to be necessary for the proper administration of such law during the fiscal year in which such payment is to be made. The Board s determination shall be based on
(1) the population of the State;
(2) an estimate of the number of persons covered by the State law and of the cost of proper administration of such law; and
(3) such other factors as the Board finds relevant. The Board shall not certify for payment under this section in any fiscal year a total amount in excess of the amount appropriated therefor for such fiscal year.
(b) Out of the sums appropriated therefor, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, upon receiving a certification under subsection (a), pay, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, to the State agency charged with the administration of such law the amount so certified.

SEC. 303. Provisions Of State Laws

(a) The Board shall make no certification for payment to any State unless it finds that the law of such State, approved by the Board under Title IX, includes provisions for-
(1) Such methods of administration (other than those relating to selection, tenure of office, and compensation of personnel) as are found by the Board to be reasonably calculated to insure full payment of unemployment compensation when due; and
(2) Payment of unemployment compensation solely through public employment offices in the State or such other agencies as the Board may approve; and
(3) Opportunity for a fair hearing, before an impartial tribunal, for all individuals whose claims for unemployment compensation are denied; and
(4) The payment of all money received in the unemployment fund of such State, immediately upon such receipt, to the Secretary of the Treasury to the credit of the Unemployment Trust Fund established by section 904; and
(5) Expenditure of all money requisitioned by the State agency from the Unemployment Trust Fund, in the payment of unemployment compensation, exclusive of expenses of administration; and
(6) The making of such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Board may from time to time require, and compliance with such provisions as the Board may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports; and
(7) Making available upon request to any agency of the United States charged with the administration of public works or assistance through public employment, the name, address, ordinary occupation, and employment status of each recipient of unemployment compensation, and a statement of such recipient s rights to further compensation under such law.
(b) Whenever the Board, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency charged with the administration of the State law finds that in the administration of the law there is—
(1) a denial, in a substantial number of cases, of unemployment compensation to individuals entitled thereto under such law; or
(2) a failure to comply substantially with any provision specified in subsection (a); the Board shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until the Board is satisfied that there is no longer any such denial or failure to comply. Until it is so satisfied it shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.

TITLE IV-GRANTS TO STATES FOR AID TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN APPROPRIATION

SECTION 401.

For the purpose of enabling each State to furnish financial assistance, as far as practicable under the conditions in such State, to needy dependent children, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $24,750,000, and there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year thereafter a sum sufficient to carry out the purposes of this title. The sums made available under this section shall be used for making payments to States which have submitted, and had approved by the Board, State plans for aid to dependent children.

SEC. 402. State Plans For Aid To Dependent Children

(a) A State plan for aid to dependent children must
(1) provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them;
(2) provide for financial participation by the State;
(3) either provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to administer the plan, or provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to supervise the administration of the plan;
(4) provide for granting to any individual, whose claim with respect to aid to a dependent child is denied, an opportunity for a fair hearing before such State agency;
(5) provide such methods of administration (other than those relating to selection, tenure of office, and compensation of personnel) as are found by the Board to be necessary for the efficient operation of the plan; and
(6) provide that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Board may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Board may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.
(b) The Board shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a) except that it shall not approve any plan which imposes as a condition of eligibility for aid to dependent children, a residence requirement which denies aid with respect to any child residing in the State
(1) who has resided in the State for one year immediately preceding the application for such aid or
(2) who was born within the State within one year immediately preceding the application, if its mother has resided in the State for one year immediately preceding the birth.

SEC. 403. Payment To States

(a) From the sums appropriated therefor, the Secretary of the Treasury shall pay to each State which has an approved plan for aid to dependent children, for each quarter, beginning with the quarter commencing July 1, 1935, an amount, which shall be used exclusively for carrying out the State plan, equal to one-third of the total of the sums expended during such quarter under such plan, not counting so much of such expenditure with respect to any dependent child for any month as exceeds $18, or if there is more than one dependent child in the same home, as exceeds $18 for any month with respect to one such dependent child and $12 for such month with respect to each of the other dependent children.
(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows:
(1) The Board shall, prior to the beginning of each quarter, estimate the amount to be paid to the State for such quarter under the provisions of subsection
(a), such estimate to be based on
(A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such subsection and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditures in such quarter, and if such amount is less than two-thirds of the total sum of such estimated expenditures, the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived,
(B) records showing the number of dependent children in the State, and
(C) such other investigation as the Board may find necessary.
(2) The Board shall then certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the amount so estimated by the Board, reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any sum by which it finds that its estimate for any prior quarter was greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the State for such quarter, except to the extent that such sum has been applied to make the amount certified for any prior quarter greater or less than the amount estimated by the Board for such prior quarter.
(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall thereupon, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the State, at the time or times fixed by the Board, the amount so certified.

SEC. 404. Operation Of State Plans

In the case of any State plan for aid to dependent children which has been approved by the Board, if the Board, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of such plan, finds-
(1) that the plan has been so changed as to impose any residence requirement prohibited by section 402 (b), or that in the administration of the plan any such prohibited requirement is imposed, with the knowledge of such State agency, in a substantial number of cases; or
(2) that in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply substantially with any provision required by section 402 (a) to be included in the plan; the Board shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until the Board is satisfied that such prohibited requirement is no longer so imposed, and that there is no longer any such failure to comply. Until it is so satisfied it shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.

SEC. 405. Administration

There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $250,000 for all necessary expenses of the Board in administering the provisions of this title.

SEC. 406. Definitions

When used in this title-
(a) The term dependent child means a child under the age of sixteen who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with his father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, or aunt, in a place of residence maintained by one or more of such relatives as his or their own home;
(b) The term aid to dependent children means money payments with respect to a dependent child or dependent children.

TITLE V—GRANTS TO STATES FOR MATERNAL AND CHILD WELFARE

Part 1-Maternal And Child Health Services

SECTION 501. Appropriation

For the purpose of enabling each State to extend and improve, as far as practicable under the conditions in such State, services for promoting the health of mothers and children, especially in rural areas and in areas suffering from severe economic distress, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $3,800,000. The sums made available under this section shall be used for making payments to States which have submitted, and had approved by the Chief of the Children s Bureau, State plans for such services.

SEC. 502. Allotments To States

(a) Out of the sums appropriated pursuant to section 501 for each fiscal year the Secretary of Labor shall allot to each State $20,000, and such part of $1,800,000 as he finds that the number of live births in such State bore to the total number of live births in the United States, in the latest calendar year for which the Bureau of the Census has available statistics.
(b) Out of the sums appropriated pursuant to section 501 for each fiscal year the Secretary of Labor shall allot to the States $980,000 (in addition to the allotments made under subsection (a)), according to the financial need of each State for assistance in carrying out its State plan, as determined by him after taking into consideration the number of live births in such State.
(c) The amount of any allotment to a State under subsection (a) for any fiscal year remaining unpaid to such State at the end of such fiscal year shall be available for payment to such State under section 504 until the end of the second succeeding fiscal year. No payment to a State under section 504 shall be made out of its allotment for any fiscal year until its allotment for the preceding fiscal year has been exhausted or has ceased to be available.

SEC. 503. Approval Of State Plans

(a) A State plan for maternal and child-health services must (1) provide for financial participation by the State;
(2) provide for the administration of the plan by the State health agency or the supervision of the administration of the plan by the State health agency;
(3) provide such methods of administration (other than those relating to selection, tenure of office, and compensation of personnel) as are necessary for the efficient operation of the plan;
(4) provide that the State health agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Secretary of Labor may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as he may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;
(5) provide for the extension and improvement of local maternal and child-health services administered by local child health units;
(6) provide for cooperation with medical, nursing, and welfare groups and organizations; and
(7) provide for the development of demonstration services in needy areas and among groups in special need.
(b) The Chief of the Children s Bureau shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a) and shall thereupon notify the Secretary of Labor and the State health agency of his approval.

SEC. 504. Payment To States

(a) From the sums appropriate therefor and the allotments available under section 502 (a), the Secretary of the Treasury shall pay to each State which has an approved plan for maternal and child-health services, for each quarter beginning with the quarter commencing July 1935, an amount, which shall be used exclusively for carrying out the State plan, equal to one-half of the total sum expended during such quarter for carrying out such plan.
(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows:
(1) The Secretary of Labor shall, prior the beginning of each quarter, estimate the amount to be paid to the State for such quarter under the provisions of subsection (a), such estimate to be based on
(A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such subsection and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditures in such quarter, and if such amount is less than one-half of the total sum of such estimated expenditures, the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived, and
(B) such investi gation as he may find necessary.
(2) The Secretary of Labor shall then certify the amount so estimated by him to the Secretary of the Treasury, reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any sum by which the Secretary of Labor finds that his estimate for any prior quarter was greater or less than the amount, which should have been paid to the State for such quarter, except to the extent that such sum has been applied to make the amount certified for any prior quarter greater or less than the amount, estimated by the Secretary of Labor for such prior quarter.
(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall thereupon, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the State, at the time or times fixed by the Secretary of Labor, the amount so certified.
(c) The Secretary of Labor shall from time to time certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the amounts to be paid to the States from the allotments available under section 502 (b), and the Secretary of the Treasury shall, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, make payments of such amounts from such allotments at the time or times specified by the Secretary of Labor.

SEC. 505. Operation Of State Plans

In the case of any State plan for maternal and child-health services which has been approved by the Chief of the Children s Bureau, if the Secretary of Labor, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of such plan, finds that in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply substantially with any provision required by section 503 to be included in the plan, he shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until he is satisfied that there is no longer any such failure to comply. Until he is so satisfied he shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.

Part 2-Services For Crippled Children

SEC. 511. Appropriation

For the purpose of enabling each State to extend and improve (especially in rural areas and in areas suffering from severe economic distress), as far as practicable under the conditions in such State, services for locating crippled children and for providing medical, surgical, corrective, and other services and care, and facilities for diagnosis, hospitalization, and aftercare, for children who are crippled or who are suffering from conditions which lead to crippling, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $2,850,000. The sums made available under this section shall be used for making payments to States which have submitted, and had approved by the Chief of the Children s Bureau, State plans for such services.

SEC. 512. Allotments To States

(a) Out of the sums appropriated pursuant to section 511 for each fiscal year the Secretary of Labor shall allot to each State $20,000, and the remainder to the States according to the need of each State as determined by him after taking into consideration the number of crippled children in such State in need of the services referred to section 511 and the cost of furnishing such service to them
(b) The amount of any allotment to a State under subsection (a) for any fiscal year remaining unpaid to such State at the end of such fiscal year shall be available for payment to such State under section 514 until the end of the second succeeding fiscal year. No payment to a State under section 514 shall be made out of its allotment for any fiscal year until its allotment for the preceding fiscal year has been exhausted or has ceased to be available.

SEC. 513. Approval Of State Plans

(a) A State plan for services for crippled children must
(1) provide for financial participation by the State;
(2) provide for the administration of the plan by a State agency or the supervision of the administration of the plan by a State agency;
(3) provide such methods of administration (other than those relating to selection, tenure of office, and compensation of personnel) as are necessary for the efficient operation of the plan;
(4) provide that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Secretary of Labor may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as he may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;
(5) provide for carrying out the purposes specified in section 511; and
(6) provide for cooperation with medical, health, nursing, and welfare groups and organizations and with any agency in such State charged with administering State laws providing for vocational rehabilitation of physically handicapped children.
(b) The Chief of the Children s Bureau shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a) and shall thereupon notify the Secretary of Labor and the State agency of his approval.

SEC. 514. Payment To States

(a) From the sums appropriated therefor and the allotments available under section 512, the Secretary of the Treasury shall pay to each State which has an approved plan for services for crippled children, for each quarter, beginning the quarter commencing July 1, 1935, an amount which shall be used exclusively for carrying out the State plan, equal to one-half of the total sum expended during such quarter for carrying out such plan.
(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows:
(1) The Secretary of Labor shall, prior the beginning of each quarter, estimate the amount to be paid to the State for such quarter under the provisions of subsection (a), such estimate to be based on
(A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such subsection and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditures in such quarter and if such amount is less than one-half of the total sum of such estimated expenditures the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived, and
(B) such investigation as he may find necessary.
(2) The Secretary of Labor shall then certify the amount so estimated by him to the Secretary of the Treasury, reduced or increased as the case may be, by any sum by which the Secretary of Labor finds that his estimate for any prior quarter was greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the State for such quarter, except to the extent that such sum has been applied to make the amount certified for any prior quarter greater or less than the amount estimated by the Secretary of Labor for such prior quarter.
(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall thereupon, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the State, at the time or times fixed by the Secretary of Labor, the amount so certified.

SEC. 515. Operation Of State Plans

In the case of any State plan for services for crippled children which has been approved by the Chief of the Children s Bureau, if the Secretary of Labor, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of such plan finds that in the administration of the plan there a failure to comply substantially with any provision required by section 513 to be included in the plan, he shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until he is satisfied that there is no longer any such failure to comply. Until he is so satisfied he shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.

Part 3—Child Welfare Services

SEC. 521.

(a) For the purpose of enabling the United States, through the Children s Bureau, to cooperate with State public-welfare agencies establishing, extending, and strengthening, especially in predominantly rural areas, public-welfare services (hereinafter in this section referred to as child-welfare services ) for the protection and care of homeless, dependent, and neglected children, and children in danger of becoming delinquent, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year, beginning with the year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $1,500,000. Such amount shall be allotted by the Secretary of Labor for use by cooperating State public-welfare agencies on the basis of plans developed jointly by the State agency and the Children s Bureau, to each State, $10,000, and the remainder to each State on the basis of such plans, not to exceed such part of the remainder as the rural population of such State bears to the total rural population of the United States. The amount so allotted shall be expended for payment of part of the cost of district, county or other local child-welfare services in areas predominantly rural, and for developing State services for the encouragement and assistance of adequate methods of community child-welfare organization in areas predominantly rural and other areas of special need. The amount of any allotment to a State under this section for any fiscal year remaining unpaid to such State at the end of such fiscal year shall be available for payment to such State under this section until the end of the second succeeding fiscal year. No payment to a State under this section shall be made out of its allotment for any fiscal year until its allotment for the preceding fiscal year has been exhausted or has ceased to be available.
(b) From the sums appropriated therefor and the allotments available under subsection (a) the Secretary of Labor shall from time to time certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the amounts to be paid to the States, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, make payments of such amounts from such allotments at the time or times specified by the Secretary of Labor.

Part 4—Vocational Rehabilitation

SEC. 531.

(a) In order to enable the United States to cooperate with the States and Hawaii in extending and strengthening their programs of vocational rehabilitation of the physically disabled, and to continue to carry out the provisions and purposes of the Act entitled An Act to provide for the promotion of vocational rehabilitation of persons disabled in industry or otherwise and their return to civil employment, approved June 2, 1920, as amended (U.S.C., title 29, ch. 4; U.S.C., Supp. VII title 29, secs. 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 39, and 40), there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1936, and June 30, 1937, the sum of $841,000 for each such fiscal year in addition to the amount of the existing authorization, and for each fiscal year thereafter the sum of $1,938,000. Of the sums appropriated pursuant to such authorization for each fiscal year, $5,000 shall be apportioned to the Territory of Hawaii and the remainder shall be apportioned among the several States in the manner provided in such Act of June 2, 1920, as amended.
(b) For the administration of such Act of June 2, 1920, as amended, by the Federal agency authorized to administer it, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1936, and June 30, 1937, the sum of $22,000 for each such fiscal year in addition to the amount of the existing authorization, and for each fiscal year thereafter the sum of $102,000.

Part 5—Administration

SEC. 541.

(a) There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $425,000, for all necessary expenses of the Children s Bureau in administering the provisions of this title, except section 531.
(b) The Children s Bureau shall make such studies and investigations as will promote the efficient administration of this title, except section 531.
(c) The Secretary of Labor shall include in his annual report to Congress a full account of the administration of this title, except section 531.

TITLE VI—PUBLIC HEALTH WORK APPROPRIATION

SECTION 601.

For the purpose of assisting States, counties, health districts, and other political subdivisions of the States in establishing and maintaining adequate public-health services, including the training of personnel for State and local health work, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30,1936, the sum of $8,000,000 to be used as hereinafter provided.

SEC. 602. State And Local Public Health Services

(a) The Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall, at the beginning of each fiscal year, allot to the States the total of (1) the amount appropriated for such year pursuant to section 601; and (2) the amounts of the allotments under this section for the preceding fiscal year remaining unpaid to the States at the end of such fiscal year. The amounts of such allotments shall be determined on the basis of (1) the population; (2) the special health problems; and (3) the financial needs; of the respective States. Upon making such allotments the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service shall certify the amounts thereof to the Secretary of the Treasury.
(b) The amount of an allotment to any State under subsection (a) for any fiscal year, remaining unpaid at the end of such fiscal year, shall be available for allotment to States under subsection (a) for the succeeding fiscal year, in addition to the amount appropriated for such year.
(c) Prior to the beginning of each quarter of the fiscal year, the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service shall, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, determine in accordance with rules and regulations previously prescribed by such Surgeon General after consultation with a conference of the State and Territorial health authorities, the amount to be paid to each State for such quarter from the allotment to such State, and shall certify the amount so determined to the Secretary of the Treasury. Upon receipt of such certification, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay in accordance with such certification.
(d) The moneys so paid to any State shall be expended solely in carrying out the purposes specified in section 601, and in accordance with plans presented by the health authority of such State and approved by the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service.

SEC. 603. Investigations

(a) There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $2,000,000 for expenditure by the Public Health Service for investigation of disease and problems of sanitation (including the printing and binding of the findings of such investigations), and f or the pay and allowances and traveling expenses of personnel of the Public Health Service, including commissioned officers, engaged in such investigations or detailed to cooperate with the health authorities of any State in carrying out the purposes specified in section 601: Provided, That no personnel of the Public Health Service shall be detailed to cooperate with the health authorities of any State except at the request of the proper authorities of such State.
(b) The personnel of the Public Health Service paid from any appropriation not made pursuant to subsection (a) may be detailed to assist in carrying out the purposes of this title. The appropriation from which they are paid shall be reimbursed from the appropriation made pursuant to subsection (a) to the extent of their salaries and allowances for services performed while so detailed.
(c) The Secretary of the Treasury shall include in his annual report to Congress a full account of the administration of this title.

TITLE VII-SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD ESTABLISHMENT

SECTION 701.

There is hereby established a Social Security Board (in this Act referred to as the Board ) to be composed of three members to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. During his term of membership on the Board , no member shall engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Not more than two of the members of the Board shall be members of the same political party. Each member shall receive a salary at the rate of $10,000 a year and shall hold office for a term of six years, except that
(1) any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed, shall be appointed for the remainder of such term; and
(2) the terms of office of the members first taking office after the date of the enactment of this Act shall expire, as designated by the President at the time of appointment, one at the end of two years, one at the end of four years, and one at the end of six years, after the date of the enactment of this Act. The President shall designate one of the members as the chairman of the Board.

SEC. 702. Duties Of The Social Security Board

The Board shall perform the duties imposed upon it by this Act and shall also have the duty of studying and making recommendations as to the most effective methods of providing economic security through social insurance, and as to legislation and matters of administrative policy concerning old-age pensions, unemployment compensation, accident compensation, and related subjects.

SEC. 703. Expenses Of The Board

The Board is authorized to appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees, and to make such expenditures, as may be necessary for carrying out its functions under this Act. Appointments of attorneys and experts may be made without regard to the civil-service laws.

SEC. 704. Reports

The Board shall make a full report to Congress, at the beginning of each regular session, of the administration of the functions with which it is charged.

TITLE VIII—TAXES WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT

SECTION 801. Income Tax On Employees

In addition to other taxes, there shall be levied, collected, and paid upon the income of every individual a tax equal to the following percentages of the wages (as defined in section 811) received by him after December 31, 1936, with respect to employment (as defined in section 811) after such date:
(1) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1937, 1938, and 1939, the rate shall be 1 per centum.
(2) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1940, 1941, and 1942, the rate shall 1 « per centum.
(3) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1943, 1944, and 1945, the rate shall be 2 per centum.
(4) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1946, 1947, and 1948, the rate shall be 2 « per centum.
(5) With respect to employment after December 31, 1948, the rate shall be 3 per centum.

SEC. 802. Deduction Of Tax From Wages

(a) The tax imposed by section 801 shall be collected by the employer of the taxpayer by deducting the amount of the tax from the wages as and when paid. Every employer required so to deduct the tax is hereby made liable for the payment of such tax, and is hereby indemnified against the claims and demands of any person for the amount of any such payment made by such employer.
(b) If more or less than the correct amount of tax imposed by section 801 is paid with respect to any wage payment, then, under regulations made under this title, proper adjustments, with respect both to the tax and the amount to be deducted, shall be made, without interest, in connection with subsequent wage payments to the same individual by the same employer.

SEC. 803. Deductibility From Income Tax

For the purposes of the income tax imposed by Title I of the Revenue Act of 1934 or by any Act of Congress in substitution therefor, the tax imposed by section 801 shall not be allowed as a deduction to the taxpayer in computing his net income for the year in which such tax is deducted from his wages.

SEC. 804. Excise Tax On Employers

In addition to other taxes, every employer shall pay an excise tax, with respect to having individuals in his employ, equal to the following percentages of the wages (as defined in section 811) paid by him after December 31, 1936, with respect to employment (as defined in section 811) after such date:
(1) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1937, 1938, and 1939, the rate shall be 1 per centum.
(2) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1940, 1941, and 1942, the rate shall be 1 « per centum.
(3) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1943, 1944, and 1945, the rate shall be 2 per centum.
(4) With respect to employment during the calendar years 1946, 1947, and 1948, the rate shall be 2 « per centum.
(5) With respect to employment after December 31, 1948, the rate shall be 3 per centum.

SEC. 805. Adjustment Of Employers Tax

If more or less than the correct amount of tax imposed by section 804 is paid with respect to any wage payment, then, under regulations made under this title, proper adjustments with respect the tax shall be made, without interest, in connection with subsequent wage payments to the same individual by the same employer.

SEC. 806. Refunds And Deficiencies

If more or less than the correct amount of tax imposed by section 801 or 804 is paid or deducted with respect to any wage payment and the overpayment or underpayment of tax cannot be adjusted under section 802 (b) or 805 the amount of the overpayment shall be refunded and the amount of the underpayment shall be collected in such manner and at such times (subject to the statutes of limitations properly applicable thereto) as may be prescribed by regulations made under this title.

SEC. 807. Collection And Payment Of Taxes

(a) The taxes imposed by this title shall be collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury and shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States as internal-revenue collections. If the tax is not paid when due, there shall be added as part of the tax interest (except in the case of adjustments made in accordance with the provisions of sections 802 (b) and 805) at the rate of one-half of 1 per centum per month from the date the tax became due until paid.
(b) Such taxes shall be collected and paid in such manner, at such times, and under such conditions, not inconsistent with this title (either by making and filing returns, or by stamps, coupons, tickets, books, or other reasonable devices or methods necessary or helpful in securing a complete and proper collection and payment of the tax or in securing proper identification of the taxpayer), as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury.
(c) All provisions of law, including penalties, applicable with respect to any tax imposed by section 600 or section 800 of the Revenue Act of 1926 and the provisions of section 607 of the Revenue Act of 1934, shall, insofar as applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of this title, be applicable with respect to the taxes imposed by this title.
(d) In the payment of any tax under this title a fractional part of a cent shall be disregarded unless it amounts to one-half cent or more, in which case it shall be increased to 1 cent.

SEC. 808. Rules And Regulations

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall make and publish rules and regulations for the enforcement of this title.

SEC. 809. Sale Of Stamps By Postmasters

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue shall furnish to the Postmaster General without prepayment a suitable quantity of stamps, coupons, tickets, books, or other devices prescribed by the Commissioner under section 807 for the collection or payment of any tax imposed by this title, to be distributed to, and kept on sale by, all post offices of the first and second classes, and such post offices of the third and fourth classes as
(1) are located in county seats, or
(2) are certified by the Secretary of the Treasury to the Postmaster General as necessary to the proper administration of this title. The Postmaster General may require each such postmaster to furnish bond in such increased amount as he may from time to time determine, and each such postmaster shall deposit the receipts from the sale of such stamps, coupons, tickets, books, or other devices, to the credit of, and render accounts to, the Postmaster General at such times and in such form as the Postmaster General may by regulations prescribe. The Postmaster General shall at least once a month transfer to the Treasury, as internal-revenue collections all receipts so deposited together with a statement of the additional expenditures in the District of Columbia and elsewhere incurred by the Post Office Department in performing the duties imposed upon said Department by this Act, and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed to advance from time to time to the credit of the Post Office Department from appropriations made for the collection of the taxes imposed by this title, such sums as may be required for such additional expenditures incurred by the Post Office Department.

SEC. 810. Penalties

(a) Whoever buys, sells, offers for sale, uses, transfers, takes or gives in exchange, or pledges or gives in pledge, except as authorized in this title or in regulations made pursuant thereto, any stamp, coupon, ticket, book, or other device, prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue under section 807 for the collection or payment of any tax imposed by this title, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(b) Whoever, with intent to defraud, alters, forges, makes, or counterfeits any stamp, coupon, ticket, book, or other device prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue under section 807 for the collection or payment of any tax imposed by this title, or uses, sells, lends, or has in his possession any such altered, forged, or counterfeited stamp, coupon, ticket, book, or other device, or makes, uses, sells, or has in his possession any material in imitation of the material used in the manufacture of such stamp, coupon, ticket, book, or other device, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

SEC. 811. Definitions

When used in this title—
(a) The term wages means all remuneration for employment, including the cash value of all remuneration paid in any medium other than cash; except that such term shall not include that part of the remuneration which, after remuneration equal to $3,000 has been paid to an individual by an employer with respect to employment during any calendar year, is paid to such individual by such employer with respect to employment during such calendar year.
(b) The term employment means any service, of whatever nature, performed within the United States by an employee for his employer, except-
(1) Agricultural labor;
(2) Domestic service in a private home;
(3) Casual labor not in the course of the employer s trade or business;
(4) Service performed by an individual who has attained the age of sixty-five;
(5) Service performed as an officer or member of the crew of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States or of any foreign country;
(6) Service performed in the employ of the United States Government or of an instrumentality of the United States;
(7) Service performed in the employ of a State, a political subdivision thereof, or an instrumentality of one or more States or political subdivisions;
(8) Service performed in the employ of a corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

TITLE IX—TAX ON EMPLOYERS OF EIGHT OR MORE

SECTION 901. Imposition Of Tax

On and after January 1, 1936, every employer (as defined in section 907) shall pay for each calendar year an excise tax, with respect to having individuals in his employ, equal to the following percentages of the total wages (as defined in section 907) payable by him (regardless of the time of payment) with respect to employment (as defined in section 907) during such calendar year:
(1) With respect to employment during the calendar year 1936 the rate shall be 1 per centum;
(2) With respect to employment during the calendar year 1937 the rate shall be 2 per centum;
(3) With respect to employment after December 31, 1937, the rate shall be 3 per centum.

SEC. 902. Credit Against Tax

The taxpayer may credit against the tax imposed by section 901 the amount of contributions, with respect to employment during the taxable year, paid by him (before the date of filing of his return for the taxable year) into an unemployment fund under a State law. The total credit allowed to a taxpayer under this section for all contributions paid into unemployment funds with respect to employment during such taxable year shall not exceed 90 per centum of the tax against which it is credited, and credit shall be allowed only for contributions made under the laws of States certified for the taxable year as provided in section 903.

SEC. 903. Certification Of State Laws

(a) The Social Security Board shall approve any State law submitted to it, within thirty days of such submission, which it finds provides that-
(1) All compensation is to be paid through public employment offices in the State or such other agencies as the Board may approve;
(2) No compensation shall be payable with respect to any day of unemployment occurring within two years after the first day of the first period with respect to which contributions are required;
(3) All money received in the unemployment fund shall immediately upon such receipt be paid over to the Secretary of the Treasury to the credit of the Unemployment Trust Fund established by section 904;
(4) All money withdrawn from the Unemployment Trust Fund by the State agency shall be used solely in the payment of compensation, exclusive of expenses of administration;
(5) Compensation shall not be denied in such State to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
(A) If the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute;
(B) if the wages, hours, or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality;
(C) if as a condition of being employed the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona-fide labor organization;
(6) All the rights, privileges, or immunities conferred by such law or by acts done pursuant thereto shall exist subject to the power of the legislature to amend or repeal such law at any time. The Board shall, upon approving such law, notify the Governor of the State of its approval.
(b) On December 31 in each taxable year the Board shall certify to the Secretary of the Treasury each State whose law it has previously approved, except that it shall not certify any State which, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency, the Board finds has changed its law so that it no longer contains the provisions specified in subsection (a) or has with respect to such taxable year failed to comply substantially with any such provision.
(c) If, at any time during the taxable year, the Board has reason to believe that a State whose law it has previously approved, may not be certified under subsection (b), it shall promptly so notify the Governor of such State.

SEC. 904. Unemployment Trust Fund

(a) There is hereby established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the Unemployment Trust Fund , hereinafter in this title called the Fund . The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to receive and hold in the Fund all moneys deposited therein by a State agency from a State unemployment fund. Such deposit may be made directly with the Secretary of the Treasury or with any Federal reserve bank or member bank of the Federal Reserve System designated by him for such purpose.
(b) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to invest such portion of the Fund as is not, in his judgment, required to meet current withdrawals. Such investment may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States or in obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States. For such purpose such obligations may be acquired
(1) on original issue at par, or
(2) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price. The purposes for which obligations of the United States may be issued under the Second Liberty Bond Act, as amended, are hereby extended to authorize the issuance at par of special obligations exclusively to the Fund. Such special obligations shall bear interest at a rate equal to the average rate of interest, computed as of the end of the calendar month next preceding the date of such issue, borne by all interest-bearing obligations of the United States then forming part of the public debt; except that where such average rate is not a multiple of one eighth of 1 per centum, the rate of interest of such special obligations shall be the multiple of one-eighth of 1 per centum next lower than such average rate. Obligations other than such special obligations may be acquired for the Fund only on such terms as to provide an investment yield not less than the yield which would be required in the case of special obligations if issued to the Fund upon the date of such acquisition.
(c) Any obligations acquired by the Fund (except special obligations issued exclusively to the Fund) may be sold at the market price, and such special obligations may be redeemed at par plus accrued interest.
(d) The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to and form a part of the Fund.
(e) The Fund shall be invested as a single fund, but the Secretary of the Treasury shall maintain a separate book account for each State agency and shall credit quarterly on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, of each year, to each account, on the basis of the average daily balance of such account, a proportionate part of the earnings of the Fund for the quarter ending on such date.
(f) The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to pay out of the Fund to any State agency such amount as it may duly requisition, not exceeding the amount standing to the account of such State agency at the time of such payment.

SEC. 905. Administration, Refunds, And Penalties

(a) The tax imposed by this title shall be collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury and shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States as internal-revenue collections. If the tax is not paid when due, there shall be added as part of the tax interest at the rate of one-half of 1 per centum per month from the date the tax became due until paid.
(b) Not later than January 31, next following the close of the taxable year, each employer shall make a return of the tax under this title for such taxable year. Each such return shall be made under oath, shall be filed with the collector of internal revenue for the district in which is located the principal place of business of the employer, or, if he has no principal place of business in the United States, then with the collector at Baltimore, Maryland, and shall contain such information and be made in such manner as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, may by regulations prescribe. All provisions of law (including penalties) applicable in respect of the taxes imposed by section 600 of the Revenue Act of 1926, shall, insofar as not inconsistent with this title, be applicable in respect of the tax imposed by this title. The Commissioner may extend the time for filing the return of the tax imposed by this title, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, but no such extension shall be for more than sixty days.
(c) Returns filed under this title shall be open to inspection in the same manner, to the same extent, and subject to the same provisions of law, including penalties, as returns made under Title II of the Revenue Act of 1926.
(d) The taxpayer may elect to pay the tax in four equal installments instead of in a single payment, in which case the first installment shall be paid not later than the last day prescribed for the filing of returns, the second installment shall be paid on or before the last day of the third month, the third installment on or before the last day of the sixth month, and the fourth installment on or before the last day of the ninth month, after such last day. If the tax or any installment thereof is not paid on or before the last day of the period fixed for its payment, the whole amount of the tax unpaid shall be paid upon notice and demand from the collector.
(e) At the request of the taxpayer the time for payment of the tax or any installment thereof may be extended under regulations prescribed by the Commissioner with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, for a period not to exceed six months from the last day of the period prescribed for the payment of the tax or any installment thereof. The amount of the tax in respect of which any extension is granted shall be paid (with interest at the rate of one-half of 1 per centum per month) on or before the date of the expiration of the period of the extension.
(f) In the payment of any tax under this title a fractional part of a cent shall be disregarded unless it amounts to one-half cent or more, in which case it shall be increased to 1 cent.

SEC. 906. Interstate Commerce

No person required under a State law to make payments to an unemployment fund shall be relieved from compliance therewith on the ground that he is engaged in interstate commerce, or that the State law does not distinguish between employees engaged in interstate commerce and those engaged in intrastate commerce.

SEC. 907. Definitions

When used in this title—
(a) The term employer does not include any person unless on each of some twenty days during the taxable year, each day being in a different calendar week, the total number of individuals who were in his employ for some portion of the day (whether or not at the same moment of time) was eight or more.
(b) The term wages means all remuneration for employment, including the cash value of all remuneration paid in any medium other than cash.
(c) The term employment means any service, of whatever nature, performed within the United States by an employee for his employer, except-
(1) Agricultural labor;
(2) Domestic service in a private home;
(3) Service performed as an officer or member of a crew of a vessel on the navigable waters of the United States;
(4) Service performed by an individual in the employ of his son, daughter, or spouse, and service performed by a child under the age of twenty-one in the employ of his father or mother;
(5) Service performed in the employ of the United States Government or of an instrumentality of the United States;
(6) Service performed in the employ of a State, a political subdivision thereof, or an instrumentality of one or more States or political subdivisions;
(7) Service performed in the employ of a corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
(d) The term State agency means any State officer, board, or other authority, designated under a State law to administer the unemployment fund in such State.
(e) The term unemployment fund means a special fund, established under a State law and administered by a State agency, for the payment of compensation.
(f) The term contributions means payments required by a State law to be made by an employer into an unemployment fund, to the extent that such payments are made by him without any part thereof being deducted or deductible from the wages of individuals in his employ.
(g) The term compensation means cash benefits payable to individuals with respect to their unemployment.

SEC. 908. Rules And Regulations

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall make and publish rules and regulations for the enforcement of this title, except sections 903, 904, and 910.

SEC. 909. Allowance Of Additional Credit

(a) In addition to the credit allowed under section 902, a taxpayer may, subject to the conditions imposed by section 910, credit against the tax imposed by section 901 for any taxable year after the taxable year 1937, an amount, with respect to each State law, equal to the amount, if any, by which the contributions, with respect to employment in such taxable year, actually paid by the taxpayer under such law before the date of filing his return for such taxable year, is exceeded by whichever of the following is the lesser—
(1) The amount of contributions which he would have been required to pay under such law for such taxable year if he had been subject to the highest rate applicable from time to time throughout such year to any employer under such law; or
(2) Two and seven-tenths per centum of the wages payable by him with respect to employment with respect to which contributions for such year were required under such law.
(b) If the amount of the contributions actually so paid by the taxpayer is less than the amount which he should have paid under the State law, the additional credit under subsection (a) shall be reduced proportionately.
(c) The total credits allowed to a taxpayer under this title shall not exceed 90 per centum of the tax against which such credits are taken.

SEC. 910. Conditions Of Additional Credit Allowance

(a) A taxpayer shall be allowed the additional credit under section 909, with respect to his contribution rate under a State law being lower, for any taxable year, than that of another employer subject to such law, only if the Board finds that under such law—
(1) Such lower rate, with respect to contributions to a pooled fund, is permitted on the basis of not less than three years of compensation experience;
(2) Such lower rate, with respect to contributions to a guaranteed employment account, is permitted only when his guaranty of employment was fulfilled in the preceding calendar year, and such guaranteed employment account amounts to not less than 7 « per centum of the total wages payable by him, in accordance with such guaranty, with respect to employment in such State in the preceding calendar year;
(3) Such lower rate, with respect to contributions to a separate reserve account, is permitted only when
(A) compensation has been payable from such account throughout the preceding calendar year, and
(B) such account amounts to not less than five times the largest amount of compensation paid from such account within any one of the three preceding calendar years, and
(C) such account amounts to not less than 7 « per centum of the total wages payable by him (plus the total wages payable by any other employers who may be contributing to such account) with respect to employment in such State in the preceding calendar year.
(b) Such additional credit shall be reduced, if any contributions under such law are made by such taxpayer at a lower rate under conditions not fulfilling the requirements of subsection (a), by the amount bearing the same ratio to such additional credit as the amount of contributions made at such lower rate bears to the total of his contributions paid for such year under such law.
(c) As used in this section-
(1) The term reserve account means a separate account in an unemployment fund, with respect to an employer or group of employers, from which compensation is payable only with respect to the unemployment of individuals who were in the employ of such employer, or of one of the employers comprising the group.
(2) The term pooled fund means an unemployment fund or any part thereof in which all contributions are mingled and undivided, and from which compensation is payable to all eligible individuals, except that to individuals last employed by employers with respect to whom reserve accounts are maintained by the State agency, it is payable only when such accounts are exhausted.
(3) The term guaranteed employment account means a separate account, in an unemployment fund, of contributions paid by an employer (or group of employers) who
(A) guarantees in advance thirty hours of wages for each of forty calendar weeks (or more, with one weekly hour deducted for each added week guaranteed) in twelve months, to all the individuals in his employ in one or more distinct establishments, except that any such individual s guaranty may commence after a probationary period (included within twelve or less consecutive calendar weeks), and
(B) gives security or assurance, satisfactory to the State agency, for the fulfillment of such guaranties, from which account compensation shall be payable with respect to the unemployment of any such individual whose guaranty is not fulfilled or renewed and who is otherwise eligible for compensation under the State law.
(4) The term year of compensation experience , as applied to an employer, means any calendar year throughout which compensation was payable with respect to any individual in his employ who became unemployed and was eligible for compensation.

TITLE X—GRANTS TO STATES FOR AID TO THE BLIND APPROPRIATION

SECTION 1001.

For the purpose of enabling each State to furnish financial assistance, as far as practicable under the conditions in such State, to needy individuals who are blind, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936, the sum of $3,000,000, and there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year thereafter a sum sufficient to carry out the purposes of this title. The sums made available under this section shall be used for making payments to States which have submitted, and had approved by the Social Security Board, State plans for aid to the blind.

SEC. 1002. State Plans For Aid To The Blind

(a) A State plan for aid to the blind must
(1) provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them;
(2) provide for financial participation by the State;
(3) either provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to administer the plan, or provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to supervise the administration of the plan;
(4) provide for granting to any individual, whose claim for aid is denied, an opportunity for a fair hearing before such State agency;
(5) provide such methods of administration (other than those relating to selection, tenure of office, and compensation of personnel) as are found by the Board to be necessary for the efficient operation of the plan;
(6) provide that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Board may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Board may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports; and
(7) provide that no aid will be furnished any individual under the plan with respect to any period with respect to which he is receiving old-age assistance under the State plan approved under section 2 of this Act.
(b) The Board shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a), except that it shall not approve any plan which imposes, as a condition of eligibility for aid to the blind under the plan-
(1) Any residence requirement which excludes any resident of the State who has resided therein five years during the nine years immediately preceding the application for aid and has resided therein continuously for one year immediately preceding the application or
(2) Any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States.

SEC. 1003. Payment To States

(a) From the sums appropriated therefor, the Secretary of the Treasury shall pay to each State which has an approved plan for aid to the blind, for each quarter, beginning with the quarter commencing July 1, 1935,
(1) an amount which shall be used exclusively as aid to the blind equal to one-half of the total of the sums expended during such quarter as aid to the blind under the State plan with respect to each individual who is blind and is not an inmate of a public institution not counting so much of such expenditure with respect to any individual for any month as exceeds $30, and
(2) 5 per centum of such amount, which shall be used for paying the costs of administering the State plan or for aid to the blind, or both, and for no other purpose.
(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows:
(1) The Board shall, prior to the beginning of each quarter, estimate the amount to be paid to the State for such quarter under provisions of clause (1) of subsection (a), such estimate to be based on
(A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such clause, and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditures in such quarter, and if such amount is less than one-half of the total sum of such estimated expenditures, the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived,
(B) records showing the number of blind individuals in the State, and
(C) such other investigation as the Board may find necessary.
(2) The Board shall then certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the amount so estimated by the Board, reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any sum by which it finds that its estimate for any prior quarter was greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the State under clause (1) of subsection (a) for such quarter, except to the extent that such sum has been applied to make the amount certified for any prior quarter greater or less than the amount estimated by the Board for such prior quarter.
(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall thereupon, through the Division of Disbursement of the Treasury Department and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the State, at the time or times fixed by the Board, the amount so certified, increased by 5 per centum.

SEC. 1004. Operation Of State Plans

In the case of any State plan for aid to the blind which has been approved by the Board, if the Board, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of such a plan, finds—
(1) that the plan has been so changed as to impose any residence or citizenship requirement prohibited by section 1002 (b), or that in the administration of the plan any such prohibited requirement is imposed, with the knowledge of such State agency, in a substantial number of cases; or
(2) that in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply substantially with any provision required by section 1002 (a) be included in the plan; the Board shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until the Board is satisfied that such prohibited requirement is no longer so imposed, and that there is no longer any such failure to comply. Until it is satisfied it shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.

SEC. 1005. Administration

There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1936 the sum of $30,000, for all necessary expenses of the Board in administering the provisions of this title.

SEC. 1006. Definition

When used in this title the term aid to the blind means money payments to blind individuals.

TITLE XI—GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 1101. Definitions

(a) When used in this Act-
(1) The term State (except when used in section 531) includes Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.
(2) The term United States when used in a geographical sense means the States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.
(3) The term person means an individual, a trust or estate, a partnership, or a corporation.
(4) The term corporation includes associations, joint-stock companies, and insurance companies.
(5) The term shareholder includes a member in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company.
(6) The term employee includes an officer of a corporation.
(b) The terms includes and including when used in a definition contained in this Act shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined.
(c) Whenever under this Act or any Act of Congress, or under the law of any State, an employer is required or permitted to deduct any amount from the remuneration of an employee and to pay the amount deducted to the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, then for the purposes of this Act the amount so deducted shall be considered to have been paid to the employee at the time of such deduction.
(d) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing any Federal official, agent, or representative, in carrying out any of the provisions of this Act, to take charge of any child over the objection of either of the parents of such child, or of the person standing in loco parentis to such child.

SEC. 1102. Rules And Regulations

The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Social Security Board respectively, shall make and publish such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, as may be necessary to the efficient administration of the functions with which each is charged under this Act.

SEC. 1103. Separability

If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Act, and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

SEC. 1104. Reservation Of Power

The right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision of this Act is hereby reserved to the Congress.

SEC. 1105. Short Title

This Act may be cited as the ``Social Security Act´´.

Approved, August 14, 1935.


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