Social Security Administration

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a Federal agency established in 1935 as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal that manages the old age, survivors, and disability insurance programs (OASDI) also known as “social security”. Originally called the Social Security Board, the SSA administers payments and determines eligibility for OASDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). OASDI provides payments to eligible retired individuals, families who have lost a wage earner, and people with disabilities based on the person’s contributions to the program. Most people pay wage taxes which provide the majority of funding for the OASDI payments. On the other hand, SSI payments are given based upon a person’s income and only are available to those with very limited resources. SSA also does some of the screening for Medicare eligibility, but the programs mostly are operated separately. For more information on social security, click here.

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team