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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

Date: July 7, 2013
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Nicola, Thomas J.
Description: This report addresses selected legal issues which may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program, and in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

Date: August 20, 2014
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Date: August 28, 2014
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

Date: February 4, 2015
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: This report discusses how Social Security benefits are currently computed, including information about eligibility, earnings, cost-of-living adjustments, factors that can affect benefit levels, and benefits for dependents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Summary of Major Changes in the Social Security Cash Benefits Program: 1935-1996

Summary of Major Changes in the Social Security Cash Benefits Program: 1935-1996

Date: December 20, 1996
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Primer

Social Security Primer

Date: June 17, 2013
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Report that provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation

Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation

Date: November 28, 2012
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Report that looks at the Social Security debate, Social Security future projections, and public opinion on Social Security reform. It also looks at past reform measures, from the 109th-112th Congress, none of which received congressional action.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Social Security Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Szymendera, Scott
Description: This report discusses certain provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that pertain to Social Security. The ARRA as passed by the House of Representatives and Senate provides over $1 billion in supplemental appropriations to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provides for a onetime $250 payment to all SSI recipients and adult Social Security beneficiaries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Date: June 7, 2000
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: The Social Security “full retirement age” — the age at which retired workers, aged spouses, or surviving aged spouses receive benefits that are not reduced for “early” retirement — will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62 (age 60 for aged widows and widowers), but at lower levels. This report discusses bills introduced in the last four Congresses that would, among other things, accelerate the phase-in of the increase in the full retirement age to 67, raise the early retirement age to 65 or 67, and raise the full retirement age to 69 or 70.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Scott, Christine
Description: This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Date: March 6, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses recent attempts at legislative action regarding changes to the computation of benefits under Social Security Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-216), which directly affected retirees born in the 5- to 15-year period after 1916. These persons fall in the "notch" between previous Social Security legislation and those affected by the amendments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Shortfall: How Much Is Attributable to Social Security?

The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Shortfall: How Much Is Attributable to Social Security?

Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: This report discusses social security in the context of the federal budget. One rationale given for Social Security reform is the large long-term fiscal shortfall that Social Security is projected to face.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: What Happens to Future Benefit Levels Under Various Reform Options

Social Security: What Happens to Future Benefit Levels Under Various Reform Options

Date: August 20, 2001
Creator: Koitz, David; Kollmann, Geoffrey & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: The report first examines several benefit-constraint options. Among them are raising the age at which full Social Security retirement benefits can be received, changing the way initial benefits are computed, and constraining cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). It also illustrates the effects of creating new personal savings accounts and presents their projected impact as a supplement to, or partial replacement of, the existing system, or as a means to close the gap between the benefit levels promised by the existing system and what can be paid under its projected future income. Finally, because across-the-board cuts may be seen as too severe for several types of recipients, other options that would ameliorate their effects, including one that would raise revenue, are also illustrated.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Current Social Security Issues

Current Social Security Issues

Date: May 21, 1998
Creator: Koitz, David & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: Social Security is the focus of intense public interest. Projected long-range funding problems, public skepticism about its future, and a growing perception that Social Security will not be as good a value for future retirees as it is today are fueling calls for reform. This report discusses a number of the major Social Security issues currently drawing congressional attention.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Date: September 14, 2012
Creator: Moulta-Ali, Umar
Description: This report discusses the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, enacted in 1974, which is a needs-based program that provides cash benefits designed to ensure a minimum income to aged, blind, or disabled persons with limited income and assets.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation

Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation

Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Siskin, Alison
Description: Concerns about the number of unauthorized (illegal) aliens residing in the United States and the totalization agreement with Mexico signed in 2004 have fostered considerable interest in the eligibility of noncitizens for U.S. Social Security benefits. This report examines the issue and discusses current legislation pertaining to it.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications

The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications

Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Whitman, Debra B.
Description: Policymakers have debated creating a system of individual accounts (IAs) as part of Social Security for many years. This report describes policymakers’ administrative and structural choices regarding the collection and investment of assets in a system of individual accounts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Date: August 5, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses recent attempts at legislative action regarding changes to the computation of benefits under Social Security Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-216), which directly affected retirees born in the 5- to 15-year period after 1916. These persons fall in the "notch" between previous Social Security legislation and those affected by the amendments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform

Social Security Reform

Date: December 3, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report provides background and analysis on social security reform. The report discusses the most recent development, the basis for the debate, specific areas of contention and reform initiatives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform

Social Security Reform

Date: December 9, 2004
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report examines the debate over the future of the Social Security system. It includes discussion of recent developments; background and analysis with information about the basic debate, specific area of contention, reform initiatives; and relevant legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2002

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2002

Date: October 25, 2001
Creator: Koitz, David & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses the Social Security recipients that receive a costof- living adjustment (COLA) in January of each year. An automatic Social Security benefit increase reflects the rise in the cost of living over roughly a 1-year period
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform: Bills in the 106th Congress

Social Security Reform: Bills in the 106th Congress

Date: April 11, 2000
Creator: Koitz, David S.
Description: The Social Security system is projected to have long-range funding problems. Although the system’s income currently exceeds its expenditures, its trust funds are projected to be depleted in 2037. Concern about the problem and a belief that the remedy lies partly in economic growth that could be bolstered by changes to the system have led to introduction of a number of bills incorporating varying degrees of reform. This report describes the funding problem in some detail, summarizes many of the reform bills introduced in the 106th Congress, and provides a list of other related CRS reports.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: This report discusses the Social Security taxes that are levied on covered earnings up to a maximum level set each year. In 2010, this maximum—or what is referred to as the taxable earnings base—is $106,800.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935

Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935

Date: January 15, 2014
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report is a reference document on the major statutory decisions made by Congress on the Social Security program, including a summary table of all of the legislation discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department