The History of Social Security Benefits

October 31st, 2016 | By | Posted in Uncategorized

Olive oil in Idaho

The Social Security benefit program is designed to provide supplemental income support to those who have retired or who are unable to work. It’s a way to ensure the economic security of those who might need it most. Whether you are in search of a Social Security attorney in Idaho, disabled, or retired, it’s important to understand what these benefits are and if they are available to you. While it might seem that this program was set forth by modern man, it is based off of a concept that has been around for centuries.

Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks first displayed a method of economic security by stockpiling olive oil. When they realized that this nutritious oil could be stored for long periods of time, they began setting some aside during years of plenty. Then, if famine, sickness, or hardship fell upon them, they had the stores needed to survive.

The Medieval Era

In medieval times, the Europeans lived undera feudal system. As another source of economic security, the feudal lord only had success on his estate as long as there were serfs performing the hard labor. However, the serfs were only able to perform their duties as long as they were healthy and strong. Thus, it was beneficial to both parties to work, while simultaneously caring for one another.

As time went on, these symbiotic relationships began to develop and become more complex. Groups of people with similar interests began to form societies and guilds. These organizations began to care for one another. By providing food, money, and other help during times of illness, death, or hardship, they built a sort of kinship or brotherhood. This later lead way to more formal forms of life insurance offered to the members of specific groups.

During the 1600s, England began to create numerous laws impacting the care of the poor. These laws recognized that it was the government’s duty to help care for those in the country who might be suffering or destitute. Poorhouses were created as way for these unfortunate people to find shelter while financial relief was given to those deemed deserving of the help. Later, when Englishmen first ventured to the Americas, these same types of principles were established.

Happy elderly couple on vacation in Idaho

Modern America

Over time, these systems of caring for the less fortunate began to evolve as the American economy began to take off. Companies began allowing older employees to stop working at a specific age and still receive some sort of pay. This later led to the establishment of pensions. However, these limited programs weren’t available to everyone, making retirement difficult if not impossible for much of the population.

Due to the Great Depression, World Wars, and other economic turmoil, the United States government began to recognize the need to care for its ailing citizens. Through many different acts and laws, Medicare, disability benefits, and Social Security benefits were all established. This allowed those who had contributed to the nation to finally be able to afford to retire. It also gave those who suffered disabilities the ability to access the care they needed.

Social Security benefits have a rich history. They began from a place of mercy and charity. Throughout the years, they have given many people the life-saving financial support needed to continue with their lives. If you have questions about how these benefits could help you, contact a Social Security disability attorney. They will be able to help you navigate through the many benefits that could be available to you.

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