1985 22¢ Social Security Act
Issue Date: August 14, 1985
City: Baltimore, MD
Printed By: American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: Photogravure
Color: Deep and light blue
Celebrates the Social Security Act of 1935, which provided for benefits for people over 60. Today, the program has been expanded to include dependents, the disabled, and others.
Social Security Act
The Social Security Act of 1935 was passed as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The original law included benefits to primary workers who were retired or unemployed with payments to begin on January 1, 1940.
Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, received the first monthly retirement check. The retired legal secretary received a check in the amount of $22.54 and continued to receive payments until her death at age 100. In 1939, survivors’ benefits and payments for spouses and children were added.
Medicare was added in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program, and annual cost of living adjustments began in 1972. In 2004, $492 billion in benefits were distributed to 47.5 million people. Controversial at its passage, the future of Social Security is one of our most important national debates.