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Social Security Crisis - 1 Not all workers are covered by...

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Social Security Crisis • Social Security is the only source of income for about half of retired people and a major source of income for 80 percent of the people in the U.S. Since the introduction of Social Security in the 1930s, this program has been a significant aid to the elderly. Social Security has significantly reduced poverty among the elderly —from 35.2 percent in 1959 to 9.7 percent in 1999. • Social Security also provides life insurance benefits to the survivors in cases of the death of a breadwinner and disability payments when a wage earner is unable to work. Social Security expresses the belief in society taking responsibility for the welfare of all its citizens. • Despite its considerable strengths, the Social Security program has several serious problems that place a disproportionate burden on certain categories of elderly and on some portions of the workers paying into the program:
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Unformatted text preview: 1) Not all workers are covered by Social Security. Some groups of workers are unable to participate because they work for states with alternative retirement programs. Other workers, however, are covered by neither Social Security nor other pension programs. Legislation has specifically exempted certain occupations (e.g., agricultural workers) from the Social Security program. 2) For those who are eligible for Social Security, there are wide disparities in the benefits received. The amount of benefits depends on the length of time workers have paid into the Social Security program and the amount of wages on which they paid a Social Security tax. In short, low-paid workers receive low benefits at retirement. Thirty percent of the elderly who depend almost exclusively on Social Security benefits are still below the poverty line despite these benefits....
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