ro Social Security Supplementary Income for Older Americans A Brief History The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program— the official name of Social Security —was created as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation during the Great Depression. It was signed into law in 1935 and is now the federal government’s largest single program. Social Security benefits were intended to “insure the essentials” for retired older workers by paying them a steady, modest income. The programwas designed to be a pay-as-you-go system, which means payroll taxes collected fromworkers and employers are used to fund payments for current retirees. Over the years, Social Security has been expanded to include dependents and survivors of retired workers, disabled workers, and dependents of disabled workers. In December 2020, the combined OASDI program provided about $1.1 trillion in benefits to nearly 65 million people: Social Security replaces about 40% of pre-retirement income for beneficiaries age 66 and older with career-average earnings equal to $55,578. Source: Social Security Administration, 2021 46 million retired workers & 3 million dependents 5.9 million survivors of deceased workers 8.2 million disabled workers & 1.5 million dependents Source: Social Security Administration, 2021 (most recent data available)