History of SSA During the Johnson Administration 1963-1968

When Lyndon Baines Johnson assumed the presidency of the United States in 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Social Security Administration had completed a major reorganization, one that had been started on January 28 of that same year. The rapid growth of the social security program and the increasingly heavy welfare responsibilities placed on the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare had made clear the necessity to have the social security and the welfare programs each under the full-time direction of a Commissioner reporting directly to the Secretary. Several major elements of the Social Security Administration--the Bureau of Family Services, and the Children's Bureau--were incorporated into a newlycreated Welfare Administration. The Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance was, in effect, abolished, and its functions became the primary mission of the Social Security Administration. In addition, the Social Security Administration retained the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions. Thus the functions of the Social Security Administration were limited to the Federal Credit Union program and the Federal social security program of old-age, survivors, and disability insurance, a program that protects almost all the families of the Nation by providing insurance to replace some of the income from work that is lost to the family when the breadwinner retires, becomes severely disabled, or dies.

In the years 1963 through l964, significant and far reaching improvements were made in the social security program. Because of these improvements, covered workers and their families--the vast majority of Americans--can count on greater financial protection against the risks of illness or retirement in old age, of disability, and of death.

What follows is an account of these changes and how the Social Security Administration geared itself to carry them out.