Throughout centuries we have experienced and the development of effective public health programs. Americans began to live significantly longer and the average life span increased by 10 years. Social Security Act of 1935 made an amount of programs including unemployment insurance, old age insurance, also Aid to Family Dependent Children (AFDC) programs. These programs were made from the result of the Great Depression. Several of families who were below the poverty line had tremendous issues with making enough money to feed their children.
For addition, more than half of the elderly in America were financially beneath the poverty requirement. The old age insurance was created with the goal of assisting the elderly with getting out of poverty. According to the Social Security “Fewer than 10 percent of workers in America had any kind of private pension plan through their work. Retirement as an expected and ordinary phase of a life well lived, as we experience it today, was virtually unknown among working class Americans before the arrival of Social Security”.
This policy relates to the benefits of pension. Karger & Stoesz (2018) explains that “employees can switch jobs thus lose their pension rights; companies go bankrupt; corporations can raid pension funds”. Social security explains that “A pension plan is a retirement plan that requires an employer to input funds set aside for a worker’s future benefit. The funds is invested on the employee’s behalf, and the money that was gained on the investments generate income to the worker retirement”. A pension is an agreement for a fixed amount of money to be paid to someone in standard portions normally accompanying retirement.
Pension is accrued upon over a significant number of years. Although there are a few similarities with old age insurance and pension, “the biggest difference between pension plans and old age insurance plans are that pensions guarantee a given amount of monthly income in retirement and place the investment risk on your employer”.
The Aid to Family Dependent Children (AFDC) program was created to help the extremely poor. Those AFDC programs were based on the average family size income. Statistically, if a family household was below the poverty income, they are qualified with get AFDC. TANF program as an example of policy changes made through the Social Security Act of 1935. “TANF gives states wide latitude in spending both Federal TANF funds and state MOE funds. Subject to a few restrictions, TANF funds may be used in any way that supports one of the four statutory purposes of TANF: to provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for at home; to end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families (p.1)
Karger & Stoesz (2018) explains that “in the TANF program, social welfare policy consists of the rules by which the federal and state governments apportion cash benefits to an economically disadvantage population”. TANF ultimate goal is to promote families to work in order to maintain consistent income. Some of the issues with TANF benefits are personal barriers that may hinder a person to complete the job training in order to obtain a job. Some families may find it difficult to attend work due to transportation issues, health concerns and lack of higher education. TANF was design for temporary assistance, but there has to be a way to consider and evaluate families personal barriers that limit them from obtaining employment.
The unemployment insurance was also a declaration to provide assistance for people that were out of work. It was extremely critical to create these programs due to the certainty that a limitless amount for individuals were unable to find work, and the economy endured due to it. Today, the unemployment program continues to provide financial assistance for those who suffer from a loss of employment. The real concerns for the Social Security Act of 1935 were funding issues and how it will be coordinated. In conclusion, Social Security Act of 1935 made a goal to provide support for those who are poor, elderly, disabled and unemployed. The Social Security programs today continue to provide financial assistance to families who are in need of support. Although Social security has evolved, it still requires the government to consider other aspects such as personal barriers.
Social welfare benefits can relate to the concept of equality and equity. Equality is giving people the same things, equity is giving hope to people based on their needs. In social work we often practice equity by meeting clients where they are, assessing each person as an individual with unique needs. Although both concepts are based in ideas of fairness equality and equity are different in execution. While equality as an idea may be impossible to reach, equity in practice can further it’s achievement. Social Security Act in 1935 faced several challenges. Karger & Stoesz (2018) explains the different obstacles that led some presidents to sign what thy believed would benefit society. There are several of policies that serve to help families maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some of these policies require additional attention to better support families.
For instance, pushing for families to go through employment training can be extremely difficult for families that are dealing with other struggles. As social workers, we should dig deeper on the challenges that families face while applying for benefits. The National Conference of State Legislatures explained that “at least 15 states have passed legislation regarding drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients” (p.1). Drug testing families can affect whether or not they are eligible to receive any services. This can be difficult for families who struggle with mental illness and lack the support they need in order to stop using substances. They should substitute drug testing for therapy and counseling as a requirement to encourage families to get the help that they need. Social Security act of 1935 has made significant changes but there still needs to be consideration of the various obstacles that families face when deciding whether or not they will be approved for benefits.