Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefits Social security is one of the natural rights which is guaranteed and recognized as a basic human right by nearly all international personalities. The notion behind social security was originally proposed in Germany in the year 1883. Corresponding to this the program was structured in a way that every single member of a certain trade was expected to shell out at regular intervals. Wealth accumulated from this fund was utilized either for food, hospital, and other expenditures of aged and disabled members of the society. Let us understand more about this article with the help of a few case laws.
The generally accepted definition of social security is the “right to social security assistance for those unable to work due to sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury, unemployment or old age”. ILO’s Declaration of Philadelphia provided a platform where the model of social security was internationally introduced as an essential human right. Subsequently, this right is advocated in numerous international instruments, few to note are your International Bill of Rights, ICCPR, ICESCR, and even UDHR. The same effects can be seen in numerous other international conventions.
Calculations indicating that the current Social Security program will not be financially sustainable in the long run under the present statutory scheme have fueled the current debate regarding Social Security reform. This report addresses selected legal issues that may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds.
In the case of Richardson v. Belcher, the Court held that “Thus, the fact that Social Security benefits are financed by taxes on an employee’s wages does not provide a limit on Congress’s power to fix the levels of benefits under the Social Security Act, or the conditions upon which they may be paid. In addition, Section 1104, 42 U.S.C. §1304, explicitly states that “The right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision of this Act is hereby reserved to the Congress.”
In the case of Stouper v. Jones, “the appellant in the Stouper case retired in 1953 and began receiving disability annuity payments pursuant to the law then in force. In 1956, Congress amended the law to discontinue benefits to recipients whose earning capacity was restored to a level fairly comparable to the current rate of pay for the position held immediately prior to retirement. After the Retirement Division of the Civil Service Commission determined that the appellant had been restored to that earning capacity, her disability annuity was terminated.” The appellant asserted that the 1956 amendment could not constitutionally be applied in her case because, at the time she retired, she acquired a vested right to an annuity that could not be taken from her by subsequent legislation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Stouper said that “It is well settled that a pension granted by the government confers no right which cannot be revised, modified, or recalled by subsequent legislation.”
In the case of Dodge v. Board of Education, the court held that “the absence of contractual rights extends to government pensions in general.”
Social Security benefits are the extremely significant and valuable basis of U.S. retirement income. Progressively, with time, no matter how, developments in employer-provided pension offerings changed or changed society in general. The Social Security rules transformed the allocation of income by source amongst the aged population.
From 1976 through 2006, about 90 percent of people aged 65 or older lived in households receiving income from Social Security. “Over that period, the average share of income from Social Security was always substantial (between 66 percent and 84 percent in any given year), particularly for households in the bottom half of the income distribution. Poterba (2014, Table 6), using data from the 2013 CPS, also finds wide variation across total-income quartiles in the distribution of income by source for individuals aged 65 or older.”
Conclusion: Social Security is a legislative prerogative curriculum. Recipients have a legitimate entitlement to accept Social Security benefits as provided under the Social Security Act. The reality of the matter is, that Social Security benefits are supported by taxes on an employee’s wages. This, nevertheless, does not reduce or regulate the Parliament’s ability to restore the levels of advantages provided under the Social Security Act or any other methods by which these funds are funded. In a 1960 Supreme Court case of Flemming vs Nestor, the Court stated that it was Congress’s responsibility in reforming the provisions of the said Act in the discussion. The Court further held that “an individual does not have an accrued “property right” in his or her Social Security benefits. The Court has made clear in subsequent court decisions as well that the payment of Social Security taxes conveys no contractual rights to Social Security benefits.”
 Right To Social Security (legalserviceindia.com)  See CRS Report RL33544, Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation, by Dawn Nuschler, for more information.  Sections 201 et seq. of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§401 et seq.  (Case law: Richardson v. Belcher, 404 U.S. 78 (1971)), Retrieved from: RICHARDSON v. BELCHER | FindLaw  HOOVER_DORIS_I_DA08318910145_OPINION_AND_ORDER_219449.pdf (mspb.gov)  Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues (fas.org)  Refer above footnote.  Dodge v. Board of Education of Chicago :: 302 U.S. 74 (1937) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center  After 2006, the proportion dropped gradually, and by 2014, it had reached 84 percent.  The Importance of Social Security Benefits to the Income of the Aged Population (ssa.gov)  Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues (fas.org)
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