Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development History
U.S. Social Security Programs
Beginning in 1932, the Federal Government first made loans, then grants, to States to pay for direct relief and work relief. After that, special Federal emergency relief and public works programs were started. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed to Congress economic security legislation embodying the recommendations of a specially created Committee on Economic Security. There followed the passage of the Social Security Act, signed into law August 14, 1935. This law established two social insurance programs on a national scale to help meet the risks of old age and unemployment: a Federal system of old-age benefits for retired workers who had been employed in industry and commerce, and a Federal-State system of unemployment insurance. The law established other Federal grants to enable States to extend and strengthen maternal and child health and welfare services, and these grants became the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, which has been replaced in 1996 with a new block grant program for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. More information and much more detail is available at the three links noted below.
- Historical Development of U.S. Social Security Programs (7 page Adobe .pdf file)
- A Brief History of Social Security - since Social Security Act passed in 1935 (24 pages)
- A Brief History of Social Security - including pre-1935 history
- Social Security Online History
- About Arthur Altmeyer, "Mr. Social Security"
- Biography of Arthur Altmeyer
Updated February 06, 2012
Division of Administrative Services
Content Contact: Jerry French