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Word Count: 757
Okay as Americans we love our country and the freedom we enjoy every day We work hard all our lives Some of us plan for the day that we are too old or for other reasons not able to work anymore Some of us just want to retire because we feel we have earned the chance to live peacefully and worry free of income in our later years Lets face it were not all independently wealthy Most of us will depend on Social Security more than it was originally intended Nevertheless we pay for it all our lives and regardless the level in which we need it we are entitled it Social Security works because it speaks to a universal human need All people throughout human history have faced the uncertainties brought on by death disability and old age Prior to the turn of the 20th century the majority of people in the United States lived and worked on farms and economic security was provided by the extended family However this arrangement changed as America underwent the Industrial Revolution The extended family and the family farm as sources of economic security became less common Then the Great Depression triggered a crisis in the nations economic life It was against this backdrop that the Social Security Act emerged2 Under the 1935 law monthly benefits were to start in 1942 From 1937 until 1942 Social Security was to pay benefits to retirees in the form of a single lump-sum refund payment The earliest reported applicant for a lump-sum refund was a retired Cleveland motorman named Ernest Ackerman who retired one day after the Social Security program began During his one day of participation in the program a nickel was withheld from Mr Ackermans pay for Social Security and upon retiring he received a lump-sum payment of 17 cents The average lump-sum payment during this period was 5806 The smallest payment ever made was for 5
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