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History Social Security and Operations

History, Today’s Social Security Program, Contemporary Issues

Enacted in the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Social Security—the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program (OASDI)—protects virtually every American. The nation’s central retirement income program is also its most important disability and life insurance program. After discussing the historical development of Social Security, this entry briefly describes the structure of the program, including revenue sources, benefits, and its importance to different groups of Americans. Contemporary Social Security policy issues are then identified.

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