United States Social Welfare Programs

There has been a widening gap in social status among families all over the world in the last 25 years. This has been caused by the economic inequality among the poor and the affluent.  Recession and recovery effects have partly exacerbated the gap; where the poor continue to become poorer and the rich amass more wealth. In order to avert this trend, nations have come up with some social welfare programs. Such programs have contributed immensely in the attempt to realize an equal society through services that provide relief to the needy people.  Some of such programs include; the Red Cross, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). However, some of these programs have occasionally come under public scrutiny for their failure to meet their goals and even accusations of fund mismanagement. The immediate pointer for the failure has been the structuring and the overall policies that manage these programs. This paper discusses the social security program schematically and analyses its effectiveness in the delivery of social services.

Social welfare programs have benefited many people in the United States. A number of these programs operate privately while others are public entities. This paper discusses the structural formation and operations of Social Security Welfare program of the United States.

Social Security

According to Beckett (2011), social security welfare program is one of the oldest programs in the United States introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 under the Social Security Act 1953. The program underwent a number of transformational changes leading to its current state where it encompasses a number of subprograms within itself. Social Security is thus a universal social welfare program, which promises each American a social right to participate in the contribution to the program. The program draws its funds from public and individual contributions. The individual contributions are got from payroll tax that is further shared in equal proportion between the employee and the employer. The government’s contribution is the aspect of public funding, which contribute a given percentage of the individual’s contribution.

Beckett (2011) further indicates that all American citizens are eligible to participate in the program as a social right. As such, the participation in the program is not based on the financial needs of a person; but rather as a social responsibility to cushion against challenges in old age. This is partly because of the Federal government’s contributions in the program, which means that each person’s tax is used in the funding of the program. Estimates indicate that the federal funding of Social Security in 1995 was a fifth of the program’s contributions.

Structurally, Social Security operates under two facets (Beckett, 2011). That is social insurances that depend on the preceding earnings payroll that an individual makes and the public assistance, which constitute the welfare part and is based on the individual’s financial needs. The main social insurance programs cover individuals the fall within various categories including, the old age, survivors, and disability insurance, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation. The real-life example is when somebody attains the legal retirement age and can no longer work to make a living out of his/her own efforts. Social Security comes in to provide the contributions that the person was making during employment period. Thus, the welfare has money and service benefits as besides getting monthly payments, the individual can access health services through the contributions of social security.

Keiser (1999) indicates thatSocial Security provides a number of benefits especially for elderly and survivors. Old age is arguably one of the inevitable stages that human beings must pass through. Thus, many people who have retired from their jobs are able to access stable income through Social Security as a program. The same case is for survivors of accidents and other calamities that render them incapable to work or engage into any gainful employment. Physically challenged people also get to benefit from the services of the Social Security.

Social Security is a professionally run welfare program under the amendments from the federal government as witnessed during the fixing of the rates of contribution during a change in the standards of living (Beckett, 2011). The level of administration is contained in the amendments of Social Security Acts and is partially controlled by the government.

Beckett (2011) notes that alternative programs such as unemployment insurance and workers compensation are in existence although they are temporary as compared to Social Security, which is a lifetime program.

In conclusion, Social Security is one of the most beneficial anti poverty welfare programs in the United States because it has managed to raise most recipients from poverty.  Socially, the program has contributed in raising the aging group from being dependants by ensuring a steady income. To this end, social security welfare program an effective program that is responsible for reduction of the number of Americans 65 years and above who are living in poverty.

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