In limited situations, these taxes apply to wages for services performed outside the United States. Your employer should be able to tell you if social security and Medicare taxes apply to your wages. You cannot make voluntary social security payments if no taxes are due.
In general, U.S. social security and Medicare taxes apply to payments of wages for services performed as an employee in the United States, regardless of the citizenship or residence of either the employee or the employer.
The money for this colossal endeavor comes from payroll taxes (known as Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes) on current workers and on their employers.
According to the Social Security Administration, in 2011 nearly 55 million Americans received $727 billion in Social Security benefits.
As of June 30, 2009, 51.9 million people or 16.9% of the U.S. population were receiving monthly Social Security benefits.
Several major changes to Social Security occurred with the 1972 amendment: automatic COLAs were instituted, a minimum monthly benefit was established, monthly benefits were significantly increased to those individuals waiting until age 65 to retire, and a system for automatic increases in the amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxation was developed.
In 1961, the retirement age for men was reduced to 62, with a reduced monthly benefit for those choosing to retire early.
Certain groups of workers were originally exempt from Social Security including government employees, railroad workers, the self-employed, farm workers, domestic help, and employees of nonprofit organizations. In 1950 and 1983, the law was changed to require most of these individuals to participate in the program
The Social Security Board was established and charged with implementing a system to enroll employees, report earnings, and collect payroll tax contributions.
The law provided a monthly benefit to individuals age 65 and older and no longer working. The monthly benefit was paid to the primary worker when he retired
included unemployment insurance, old-age assistance, aid to dependent children and grants to the states to provide various forms of medical care.
by the time America adopted social insurance in 1935, there were 34 nations already operating some form of social insurance program
In 1935, Congress passed and Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the "Social Security Act." This law created "a system of Federal old-age benefits" for workers and their families.