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Economic Definition of Social Security. Defined.

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Term Social Security Definition: A system for providing financial assistance to the poor, elderly, and disabled. The social security system in the United States was established by the Social Security Act (1935) in response to the devastating problems of the Great Depression. Our current Social Security system has several parts. The first part, Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) is the one the usually comes to mind when the phrase "Social Security" comes up. It provides benefits to anyone who has reached a certain age and who has paid taxes into the program while employed. It also provides benefits to qualified recipients survivors or dependents. The second part of the system is Disability Insurance (DI), which provides benefits to workers and their dependents in the case of physical disabilities that keeps them from working. The third part is Hospital Insurance (HI), more commonly termed medicare. Medicare provides two types of benefits, hospital coverage for anyone in the OASI part of the system and optional supplemental medical benefits that require a monthly insurance premium. The last part of the social security system is Public Assistance (PA), which is the official term for welfare and is covered under it's own heading.


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