Ten Years Ago

For a brief period from January through July 1950, each issue of the OASIS News carried a small item on what was happening 10 years ago that month. These items were intended for in-house employees and so they sometime include items of narrow interest. But the collection is important for the documentation it provides of the number of offices, employees and basic workloads that existed in the first years of the Social Security program.

TEN YEARS AGO- January 1950

January 1, 1940 , marked the beginning of operations under the 1939 amendments to the Act. At the end of January 49,570,092 employee accounts had been established. This figure did not include 1,824,321 Railroad Employee Accounts.

During January, monthly old-age and survivors insurance payments were inaugurated.

Richard H. Lyle was appointed Regional Director, Region VII, Birmingham, Alabama effective January 8, 1940.

John J. Corson was guest speaker of the Star Radio Forum over Station WMAL. Subject of Mr. Corson's address was "Your Family and Social Security."

The Analysis Division moved into the Arlington Hotel Building occupying approximately four floors.

16 new field offices were opened bringing the total number to 447. Since October 31, 1939, 115 field offices had been established.

TEN YEARS AGO- February 1950

A tornado in Albany, Georgia, caused considerable damage to the field office located there. Fortunately, none of the personnel were injured nor were any of the office records damaged.

At the request of the War Department, a list was prepared of all Social Security Board employees who were members of the Officers Reserve Corps, showing their grade and arm of service.

For the first time, use was made in the field of the system for the hearing and appeal of claim determinations with 26 preliminary conferences being held between field office managers and individuals questioning claims determinations in their cases.

Extension of field facilities resulted in the establishment of 11 additional field offices during the month, raising the total to 458 offices.

TEN YEARS AGO- March 1950

During March 23, 021 claims were adjudicated. This figure not include 991 disallowances and withdrawals.

The number of claims received in the field offices since January 1, 1940 has now risen to 88,369.

29, 671 wage statements were sent out.

The Social Security Board Basketball Team entered the semi-finals in the Government Leagues by defeating a team from the Library of Congress.

2 additional field offices opened during the month bringing the total to 460.

A system was inaugurated whereby State and local public and private welfare agencies may be supplied with information concerning OASI payments being made to applicants for or recipients of aid under this program.

Total personnel on duty was 8,626, an increase of 233 over February.

TEN YEARS AGO- April 1950

The conversion of the wage record keeping activities in Baltimore from a regional basis was completed. The change over required 18 months to complete.

Certifications to the Treasury during the month included 18,802 monthly benefits, averaging $20.51; 6,216 lump-sum payments under the amendments, averaging $127.88 and 3,318 lump-sum payments under the original act, averaging $71.79.

The Claims Manual replacing the tentative manual now in use has been completed and is being printed.

Monthly benefit payment procedures were further streamlined by the approval of the issuance of single checks in each individual type of payment instead of the composite checks heretofore used. This will greatly simplify accounting and cost operations.

John Pearson, Regional Director, Region I, tendered his resignation effective June 18 to accept the post of Administrative Head of the Dartmouth Eye Institute. John F. Hardy, on May 1, 1940, became Acting Regional Director of Region I.

Wage Records furnished for the adjudication of claims in April totaled 25,588 as compared with 24,547 in March.


The names of several Social Security Board employees, who have been intercepted by the United States Park Police while trespassing on park lawn areas in disregard to signs clearly forbidding such actions, have been reported to the Board.

Regulation #3, which codifies rules governing the development, adjudication, payment and servicing of claims, was approved and published

Determinations were approved by the Board as to payment of insurance benefits to children during the usual vacation periods; beneficiaries in prison in the same manner as if they were not confined; and to parents who are dependent upon the wage earner, if the wage earner's contribution to the parent's support approximates or exceeds 75% of the parent's income.

New accounts established in May totaled 300,563 bringing the net total of accounts established to 49,360,006.


Cyclical posting of wage records started during the month.

Six additional field offices were opened during June, making a total of 469 field offices now operating.

By the end of the first 6 months of operations under the amended act, a total of 177,606 claims had been received in Washington for adjudication. Of the amount, 137,199, or more than three-fourths, were awarded.

During the month of June 26,629 monthly benefit claims were certified to the Treasury Department. The net payment amounted to $797,642.90.

TEN YEARS AGO- July 1950

Throughout the month intensive effort was devoted to the perfection of plans necessitated by the national emergency for the preservation of insurance rights of wage earners who leave covered employment to enter the armed forces or transfer to civilian employment within the federal government.

A plan for the classification of the Bureau field offices was approved and made effective.

At the end of July, Bureau personnel totaled 8,744. Of these, 3,051 were in the field, 4,374 in A.O.D., Baltimore, and 1,320 employees comprising the Washington staff.

The first formal appeal from a previous determination was received and put in process.

Due to heat-leave the Disbursing Office of the Treasury was delayed a few days in sending out salary checks for field and departmental employees of the Board.

August 25, 1935, is the date of the first train from Baltimore to Washington. I wonder if any of our commuters were on that train.