This Month In History

July 24, 1934 Dr. Edwin E. Witte accepted the position of Executive Director of the Committee on Economic Security.

July 1, 1937 The Social Security Board field offices, of which 173 had been established, relieved the Post Office Department of the task of assigning employee account numbers.

July 1, 1938 John J. Corson was named Director, Bureau of Old-Age Insurance.

July 1, 1939 The Federal Reorganization Act of 1939 became effective. Under this act, the Social Security Board was made part of the newly established Federal Security Agency. The United States Employment Service was transferred from the Department of Labor to the Social Security Board, consolidating the Employment Service with the unemployment compensation functions of the Social Security Board to become the Bureau of Employment Security.

July 1, 1939 With the initiation of benefits in Illinois and Montana, unemployment benefits became payable in all 48 states.

July 12, 1939 The appointment of the first Federal Security Administrator, Paul V. McNutt, was confirmed by the Senate. McNutt took the oath of office on July 13, 1939.

July 16, 1946 Under the President's Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1946, the Social Security Board was abolished and its functions transferred to FSA and the Social Security Administration was established to carry on programs of the Social Security Board and those of the Children's Bureau. The Children's Bureau (then in the Department of Labor) was transferred (except for its child labor functions) to the Federal Security Agency by the same plan. The Office of the Commissioner for Social Security was established and Arthur J. Altmeyer was named to the position.

July 1, 1955 The first old-age and survivors insurance benefits became payable that reflected the increases resulting from the exclusion of disability from benefit computation under the 1954 "freeze" provision.

July 1957 Monthly disability benefits first became payable under OASDI to insured workers aged 50-64.

July 30,1965 President Johnson signed H.R. 6675 to provide health insurance for the elderly. It was signed in Independence, Missouri, in the presence of Harry S. Truman who opened the fight for such legislation in a message to Congress in 1945.

July 4, 1966 President Johnson signed into law the Freedom of Information Act. This law codified in federal administrative practice, for the first time, the idea that the public has a "right to know" what information the government maintains on its citizens. It thus became part of SSA's policies on disclosure of information.

July 1, 1972 President Nixon signs into law P.L. 92-336 which authorized a 20% cost-of-living allowance (COLA), effective 9/72, and established the procedures for issuing automatic COLAs each year, beginning in 1975.

July 27, 1998 The third regional forum on the future of Social Security took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The second forum took place on July 1st in Providence, Rhode Island. Vice President Gore hosted the Providence event, and President Clinton hosted the Albuquerque event. The forums, sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons and the Concord Coalition, have helped put a spotlight on Social Security so that the public can become more aware of the issues surrounding the long-term solvency of Social Security.

July 11, 2000 SSA launched a new interactive application on its Internet site allowing Medicare beneficiaries to apply for a replacement Medicare card online.

July 24, 2000 Formal swearing-in and first meeting of the President's Work Incentives Advisory Panel.

July 24, 2000 SSA's first live Internet webcast conducted, of the meeting of the Work Incentives Advisory Panel.

July 26, 2000 President Clinton announced three new regulatory proposals to: (1) raise the SGA level automatically each year based on increases in the national average wage index; (2) increase the Trial Work Period amount from $200 to $530 a month and provide automatic yearly increases; (3) allow disabled students receiving SSI to exclude more income before their benefits are affected (more than triple the current amount). The changes were announced at a ceremony commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

May 15, 2001 The Social Security Administration unveiled a new website, Social Security Online "For Women." The site provides basic Social Security program information on retirement, survivors, disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits pertinent to women.

July 5, 2001 As a result of an internal Social Security Administration quality review, approximately 130,000 low-income Supplemental Security Income disability beneficiaries nationwide may now be eligible to receive Social Security disability insurance payments because they have earned sufficient work credits to qualify for the disability insurance program. In addition to being eligible for higher ongoing monthly payments - $20 or less on average - they will also be eligible for retroactive payments averaging over $2000 per individual.

July 12, 2001 President Bush announced his proposals for reforming Medicare, including a drug discount program, additional types of plans, more options for plan choices by seniors, and proposals to combine to the two parts of Medicare into a single program.

July 12, 2001 The Social Security Administration announced that it will issue one-time payments to approximately 50 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. These special payments will compensate individuals for shortfalls in their benefits caused by an error the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) made in the calculation of the consumer price index. Lump-sum retroactive payments are scheduled for delivery on July 16 to Social Security and SSI beneficiaries. For the majority, these payments will total up to $19, or $1 per month for January 2000 through July 2001. Beneficiaries do not need to contact SSA.

July 17, 2001 President Bush formally nominated Jo Anne B. Barnhart to be Commissioner of Social Security for a term that expires on Jan. 19, 2007.

July 19, 2001 The White House announced the President's intention to nominate James B. Lockhart III to be the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

July 24, 2001 Second meeting of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. At this meeting the Commission accepted the Interim Report of the staff.

July 30, 2002 The Social Security Administration (SSA) has received the E-Gov 2002 Explorer Award for its Multi-Language Gateway internet site. The site -- -- provides valuable Social Security information online in 15 different languages, including information on interpreter services in each of those 15 languages.

July 14, 2011 Commissioner Astrue announced 12 additional medical conditions to be included under the expedited Compassionate Allowances procedures--bring the total to 100 conditions.

July 22, 2011 Commissioner Astrue announced that beginning August 15, 2011, Social Security field offices will close to the public 30 minutes early each day and SSA will close field offices to the public on Friday, November 25, 2011. This is a response to budget shortfalls limiting available overtime (during the closed periods staff will process backlogged workloads).