Social Security Act 1935

The Great Depression left millions of Americans jobless and financially threatened. Especially hardhit were the elderly who had seen their savings disappear, and who competed for the few existing jobs with younger workers.

In response to political pressure, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed and Congress enacted the Social Security Act. The act created a system of old age and unemployment insurance through worker contributions. Each state administered its own plan, and benefits varied. Agricultural and domestic workers could not receive benefits. The act also included a program of Aid to Dependent Children.