Detailed Chronology of Social Insurance & Social Security: Part V — 1960s
NOTE: The following pages present a detailed historical chronology of the development of social insurance, with particular emphasis on Social Security. Items are included in this compilation on the basis of their significance for Social Security generally, their importance as precedents, their value in reflecting trends or issues, or their significance in Social Security Administration’s administrative history. The information includes legislative events in Social Security and related programs. Our expectation is that this Chronology can be used as a reference tool and finding aid for important dates and events in Social Security’s long history.
SPECIAL NOTE: The bulk of this Chronology was compiled over nearly 20 years by Dr. Abe Bortz, the first Social Security Administration Historian. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Abe Bortz for this sustained effort.
January 1, 1960 An increase in OASDI contribution rates became effective as 3% each for employers and employees and 4.5% for the self-employed.
January 26, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy introduced a bill in the Senate (S. 2915) corresponding to the Forand bill, H. R. 4700.
January 1960 Occupancy began of the Operations Building of the Bureau of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance in Woodlawn, Maryland, and tentative sketches for the Annex were completed.
February 1, 1960 Joseph H. Myers became Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. He succeeded George K. Wyman.
February 23, 1960 The Senate Labor and Public Welfare Subcommittee on the Problems of the Aged and Aging issued a report based on hearings and study during 1959 called, “The Aged and Aging in the United States: A National Problem.”
March 11, 1960 The Harrison Committee issued a preliminary report.
March 23, 1960 Arthur S. Flemming, in testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, stated: “I want to make it clear that as an Administration, we will oppose any program of compulsory health insurance.”
March 27 – April 2, 1960 The sixth White House Conference on Children and Youth was held.
March 31, 1960 By a vote of 17 to 8 the Ways and Means Committee tabled the Forand proposal for a program of hospital insurance for the aged, and rejected a compromise plan for hospitalization only.
April 7, 1960 S. 3350, introduced by Senator Javits and seven other Republican Senators, called for Federal matching grants to the States for the cost of health insurance for persons aged 65 or over. Six identical bills were introduced in the House.
April 8, 1960 The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Personnel Act of 1960 was approved, amending the Social Security Act.
April 8, 1960 The Second Circuit Court decided the case of Adams v. Flemming involving a 47-year-old insurance company executive who suffered from an aggravated sinus condition as a result of which he retired. The opinion rendered was that he was not unable to engage in substantial gainful activity.
April 22, 1960 The Social Security Act was amended to provide fully insured status under OASDI for certain persons who had not obtained needed quarters of coverage because wages earned in one calendar quarter had been paid and credited in a later quarter; and to permit, in the unemployment compensation program for Federal civilian workers, lump-sum terminal annual leave payments to be treated in accordance with State law.
April 1960 The movement of personnel and equipment to the Woodlawn Building was completed.
May 4, 1960 Secretary Flemming presented President Eisenhower’s proposal for a Federal-State program of protection against the cost of illness for low income people aged 65 and over. According to the proposal, participation would have been optional with an income test to determine eligibility. The States, the Federal Government and enrollees would have shared in financing a broad range of medical benefits.
May 6, 1960 Senator McNamara of Michigan, introduced Senate bill 3503 for himself and 18 others, which provided for a special retirement test to determine eligibility for health insurance benefits, including hospital and nursing home care, outpatient diagnostic services, and the cost of expensive drugs. Benefits for people covered by Social Security would be paid for from increased payroll taxes; for other aged persons from general revenues.
May 14, 1960 A measure was signed by President Eisenhower permitting an individual who was paying the medical expense of dependent parents 65 or over to disregard the usual limitation that only amounts in excess of 3% of adjusted gross income could be deducted.
June 29,1960 The 1960 Annual Conference of Governors called for Congressional enactment of a medical insurance program for the elderly under Social Security.
b Senator Leverett Saltonstall (R. Mass.) introduced a bill (S. 3784) which put the Administration’s Medicare program into legislative language for the first time in either chamber.
July 1,1960 The Social Security Administration’s Woodlawn headquarters were dedicated.
July 12, 1960 The Hawaii Omnibus Act was approved. It included provisions revising the method for computing the Federal grants to the State under Titles I, IV, X and XIV of the Social Security Act.
July 12,1960 The Democratic National Convention adopted a platform plank on health care for the aged stating that a Democratic administration would provide an effective system for paid-up medical insurance upon retirement, financed during working years through the social security mechanism, and available to all retired persons without a means test.
July 13,1960 The Committee on Ways and Means reported to the House H.R. 12580, the Social Security Amendments of 1960. The bill established a new Title XVI of the Social Security Act, providing Federal grants to the States to help pay the costs of medical services for aged people not on Public Assistance but unable to meet their medical expenses.
July 23,1960 H.R. 12580 was considered in the House under a closed rule (preventing any amendments from the floor) and was passed, 381 to 23.
July 27, 1960 The Republican National Convention endorsed a platform plank which supported Federal-State grant programs to improve health services for the aged.
August 15, 1960 The American Medical Association announced its support of the Senate Finance Committee Medical care plan.
August 19, 1960 The Senate Finance Committee reported out H.R. 12580, with a number of changes in the medical care provisions.
August 23, 1960 An amendment introduced by Senator Long to permit Federal matching of vendor payments under Title I of the Social Security Act to public mental and tuberculosis hospitals was adopted.
August 23, 1960 After rejecting a Kennedy-Anderson amendment embodying the health insurance approach, as well as a Javits amendment embodying the Administration plan, the Senate approved a modified version of H.R. 12580, known as the Kerr-Mills Bill.
August 24, 1960 The Conference Committee agreed to the medical care provisions added by the Senate, except for Senator Long’s amendment. A provision in the bill as approved by the House was reinstated, to permit the use of Federal funds for 42 days of medical care of a patient in a general hospital as the result of a diagnosis of tuberculosis or psychosis.
August 26, 1960 The Conference Report was approved in the House by a vote of 368 to 17.
August 29, 1960 The Senate approved the Conference Committee Report for the Social Security Amendments of 1960.
September 13, 1960 The Social Security Amendments of 1960 were enacted. The new law provided increased Federal grants to States for medical care programs for aged people getting old-age assistance if the increase was spent on vendor medical payments. In addition, a new program (commonly referred to as “Kerr-Mills”) of Federal grants to States for vendor medical care programs for aged people not on public assistance but unable to pay for needed medical services was provided. Old-age and survivors’ insurance was amended to provide disability insurance benefits to disabled workers of all ages and to their dependents; the retirement test was liberalized, as well as were eligibility requirements.
September 1960 Lump-sum death payments became payable to funeral homes. Benefits became payable to de facto spouses and their children.
November 8, 1960 President-elect Kennedy appointed a “Task Force on Health and Social Security for the American People”, with Wilbur J. Cohen as Chairman. The task force was directed to review from among the most pressing and significant health and welfare proposals those which should have priority in the initial phase of the new administration.
November 1960 Benefits became payable to the disabled at any age.
November 1960 Judge Friendly of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote an opinion in Kerner v. Flemming which had a major impact upon the development of the law as to “the test of disability” under the Social Security Act and upon the administration of that law by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
December 1, 1960 Governor Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut was named by President-elect Kennedy to be the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
January 10, 1961 The Emergency Preparedness Order No. 5, signed by the Director of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, assigned certain civil defense functions concerning education and welfare to the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. These functions were delegated by the Secretary to the Commissioner of Social Security.
January 10, 1961 The Task Force on Health and Social Security for the American People was reported to the President. The report made a number of recommendations regarding health care, including a program of hospital insurance for the aged through the Social Security system.
January 14, 1961 Arthur S. Flemming resigned as Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
January 21, 1961 Abraham Ribicoff became the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education,and Welfare.
January 1961 The White House Conference on Aging sponsored by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, convened in Washington, D.C.
January 1961 The Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance began keeping its benefit rolls electronically. Under contract with RCA, the Bureau installed the first units in a complex of high speed, all transistorized electronic data processing equipment in its seven Payment Centers.
February 4, 1961 The American Medical Association established its Political Action Committee (AHPAC). Its purposes included information to be provided physicians and others regarding Government activities affecting the medical profession. It especially involved a drive to prevent the passage of a health insurance program as then being advocated.
February 9, 1961 The President’s Health Message was the first of its kind ever to be devoted exclusively to the need for a health care program.
February 13, 1961 H.R. 4222, the Health Insurance Benefits Act of 1961, proposing a program along the lines set forth by the President, was introduced by Representative King of California. S. 909, a companion bill, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Anderson. The House bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
February 20, 1961 President Kennedy submitted draft proposals to Congress for improvements in old-age, survivors and disability insurance programs.
March 1961 The Bureau of Federal Credit Unions Bulletin, a quarterly publication, was first issued.
April 20, 1961 By a vote of 399 to 14, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6027, the Social Security Amendments of 1961.
May 8, 1961 The Public Welfare Amendments of 1961 were enacted amending public assistance Titles of the Social Security Act by: (1) making Federal grants available to States wishing to extend their programs of aid to dependent children to include children deprived of parental support or care because of parent’s unemployment; (2) broadening the term “dependent child” to include child recipients of aid to dependent children who had been removed to foster family houses because of a court ruling that continuance in the family home would be contrary to the child’s welfare; and (3) increasing to 100% the Federal share of the costs of training public welfare personnel.
June 30, 1961 The Social Security Amendments of 1961 were signed by President Kennedy. The Act was amended: to permit male workers to elect early retirement age 62; to increase minimum benefits payable; to liberalize the benefit payments to aged widow, widower, or surviving dependent parent; and to liberalize the retirement test and eligibility requirements.
October 5, 1961 President Kennedy signed into law Public Law 87-397, a law designed to cut down on tax cheating by assigning a tax identity number to every taxpayer. The Social Security identification number would be used as the tax identity number, and those persons without Social Security numbers would be assigned a tax number by the Internal Revenue Service.
December 6, 1961 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare announced ten administrative changes in the public welfare program. They dealt with (1) locating deserting parents; (2) administrative actions to reduce and control fraud; (3) allowing children to conserve income for education and employment; (4) safeguarding the children in families of unmarried parents; (5) safeguarding children in hazardous home situations; (6) improving State staff training and development programs; (7) developing services to families; (8) encouraging States and localities to provide more effective family welfare services; and (9) coordinating family and community welfare services.
1961 District Offices first became involved in the transmission of data and administrative traffic via teletype Batch Data Transmission System (BDTS).
January 1962 The social security payroll taxes rose to 3.125% for employee and employer, with the self-employed to pay 4.7%.
January 2, 1962 The Bureau of Public Assistance became the Bureau of Family Services.
January 11, 1962 In his State of the Union Message, President Kennedy renewed his 1961 request that the old-age, survivors and disability provisions of the Social Security Act be amended to provide health insurance for the aged.
January 29, 1962 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare announced six additional administrative changes in the public welfare program. They related to (1) eliminating unnecessary paperwork; (2) initiating more effective services for children and youth; (3) intensifying efforts to combat illegitimacy; (4) placing increased emphasis on research and demonstration to reduce dependency; (5) strengthening vocational rehabilitation services for disabled recipients of public assistance; and (6) planning more effective training of public welfare personnel.
February 1, 1962 President John F. Kennedy sent a special message to the Congress on Public Welfare Programs.
February 27, 1962 In his Health Message, President Kennedy renewed his 1961 request that the old-age, survivors and disability provisions of the Social Security Act be amended to provide health insurance protection for the aged.
February 28, 1962 Commissioner William L. Mitchell submitted his resignation to President Kennedy. Robert M. Ball, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance was named to succeed Mr. Mitchell.
April 3, 1962 The Senate confirmed the appointment of Robert M. Ball as the Commissioner of Social Security.
April 17, 1962 Robert M. Ball was sworn in as Commissioner of Social Security.
May 24, 1962 Secretary Ribicoff sent the first message to go out nationwide over the newly completed Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance telecommunication network. The network linked the 599 Social Security District Offices and the seven Payment Centers with headquarters in Baltimore.
May 25, 1962 A new program of sickness, maternity and work-injury insurance was introduced in Pakistan by Ordinance No. 22. The measure represented the first social insurance program to be established in that country.
May 1962 The Social Security Administration started the “leads” program–sending letters to advise aged, insured workers, who had not claimed benefits, of their entitlement to these payments.
June 29,1962 The Senate Appropriations Committee requested a nationwide review of eligibility under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. The Commissioner of Social Security was made responsible for the major decisions on the plan to review eligibility, subject to final approval by the Secretary.
June 1962 The Office of Hearings and Appeals became the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals.
July 14,1962 Anthony J. Celebrezze, Mayor of Cleveland, was named to succeed Abraham Ribicoff as the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He took the oath of Office on July 31, 1962.
July 17, 1962 The Senate tabled the Anderson amendment. The 87th Congress took no further action on hospital insurance proposals.
July 25, 1962 The Public Welfare Amendments of 1962 were enacted. This legislation provided for greater Federal sharing in the cost of rehabilitative services to recipients, applicants, and persons likely to become applicants for public assistance. It increased the Federal share in the cost of public assistance payments. It permitted the States to combine the various categories into one category; and to make permanent the 1961 amendment extending aid to dependent children to cover children removed from an unsuitable home.
July 1962 Executive Order 10988 became effective in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare: It provided for official recognition of employee organizations and a formal means of employee participation in matters affecting employment conditions.
August 1962 The Annex of the Social Security Building, Woodlawn, was completed and the staff moved in.
September 1962 The claims authorizing function formerly under the jurisdiction of the Baltimore Payment Center was transferred to the Division of Disability Operations.
October 1, 1962 Title XVI of the Social Security Act became effective. States now had the option, instead of having separate State plans for Titles I, X and XIV, of combining their programs of assistance for the aged, the blind, and the disabled and for medical assistance for the aged.
October 10, 1962 Public Law 87-792, entitled, “Self-Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act of 1962,” was approved. It gave self-employed people a tax postponement for income set aside in qualified pension plans.
October 24, 1962 President Kennedy signed H.R. 12820 which made minor changes in the coverage provisions for employees of State and local governments.
December 20, 1962 Secretary Celebrezze announced a reorganization in DHEW to accord top level administrative status to the old-age, survivors and disability insurance program by making it the primary mission of the Social Security Administration. At the same time, all the principal welfare programs of the Department would be brought together in a new Welfare Administration.
January 14, 1963 John Tramburg, former Social Security Commissioner from November 1953 until August 1954, died.
January 28, 1963 An HEW reorganization order removed the Bureau of Family Services, the Children’s Bureau, and the Cuban Refugee Program, from SSA and placed it in a newly-created Welfare Administration. Dr. Ellen Winston was made head of the new Welfare Administration. BOASI was abolished; Robert M. Ball remained as the Commissioner of Social Security; Victor Christgau became the Executive Director of SSA.
February 5, 1963 President Kennedy sent to Congress a special message on “Mental Illness and Mental Retardation.” On the same day, Congressman Mills introduced H.R. 3386 to carry out those recommendations in the President’s message which involved amendment of Title V–the maternal and child health and welfare title of the Social Security Act and establishment of a new title of that act.
February 7, 1963 John F. Kennedy sent a Special Message to the Congress on “Improving the Nation’s Health.”
February 21, 1963 President Kennedy’s proposals for health care for the aged were submitted to Congress in a Special Message on Aiding Our Senior Citizens. The Administration’s hospital-care bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative King and in the Senate by Senator Anderson.
May 22, 1963 The Department of the Treasury announced that, due to internal conditions, no Federal checks could be delivered to a payee in Cuba or to anyone outside of Cuba on behalf of a person in Cuba.
June 7,1963 The Social Security Administration accepted a proposal by Dunlap & Associates for a continuation of the intensive application of operations research to its processes.
June 9, 1963 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare announced the appointment of a 13-member Advisory Council–the second in a series of councils called for by the 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act. The Council was directed to begin a comprehensive review of the Nation’s old-age, survivors, and disability insurance systems.
June 29,1963 An act was approved extending for one year the period during which responsibility for the placement and foster care of dependent children, under the program of aid to families with dependent children under Title IV of the Social Security Act.
August 1963 Lodge #1923 of the American Federation of Government Employees gained exclusive recognition under Executive Order 10988 to represent the non-supervisory employees at the Social Security Administration’s headquarters.
October 17, 1963 The 1963 Amendments to the Federal Credit Union Act were signed by President Kennedy.
October 22, 1963 New Zealand enacted a medical benefits program.
October 24, 1963 President Kennedy signed the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments–the legislation, which amended Title V of the Social Security Act and added a new title to the Act, was aimed at preventing and combating mental retardation. The law added Title XVII to the Social Security Act. This title authorized what were essentially one-time planning grants for States to assist in developing plans for combating mental retardation.
January 1, 1964 OASDI payroll tax rates of 3.625% each for employers and employees and 5.4 % for the self-employed went into effect.
January 8, 1964 In his message on the State of the Union, President Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty in America.”
February 10, 1964 President Johnson outlined a many-sided attack on the Nation’s most serious health problems in a Special Message to Congress: Health of the Nation. He urged the approval of a program of hospital insurance for the aged.
March 16, 1964 President Johnson sent to Congress a special message outlining plans for a $962.5 million war on poverty.
May 4, 1964 The Annex Building at Woodlawn began to be occupied.
June 30,1964 An act was approved extending the period during which responsibility for the placement of and foster care of dependent children, under the program of aid to families with dependent children under Title IV of the Social Security Act, could be exercised by a public agency other than the agency administering such aid under the State plan.
June 30,1964 Public Law 347 was approved. The act amended Title XI of the Social Security Act to extend the period during which temporary assistance could be provided for United States citizens who returned from foreign countries.
July 2,1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved. It provided a clear directive that Federal programs shall be administered in a manner that would assure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Effective January 3, 1965, applications for Federal aid had to include, as a condition for approval and the extension of any financial assistance, an adequate assurance of compliance with all the nondiscriminatory requirements imposed by Title VI of that act.
July 2,1964 Public Law 88-350 was approved. It extended the time within which teachers and other employees covered by the same retirement system in Maine could be treated, for OASDI purposes, as being covered by separate retirement systems.
July 2,1964 The Federal Credit Union was amended to eliminate the former requirement that interest refunds be paid annually and to permit the authorization of interest refunds semi-annually.
July 21,1964 The Senate Special Aging, Health of the Elderly Subcommittee released its report, entitled, “Blue Cross and Private Health Insurance Coverage of Older Americans.” It stated that private health insurance was unable to provide the large majority of older Americans with “adequate hospital protection at reasonable premium cost.”
July 23,1964 Public Law 88-382 was signed. It included Nevada among the States that would be permitted to divide their retirement systems into two parts for purposes of obtaining OASDI coverage under a Federal-State agreement.
August 1, 1964 The District of Columbia Credit Union Law was repealed. Each credit union operating under the law had to convert to a Federal charter within 30 days.
August 20, 1964 The Economic Opportunity Act was signed by President Johnson. Enrollees in two programs established by the act–“Job Corps” and VISTA–were considered to be Federal employees for OASDI purposes and were covered by that program on the saw basis as other Federal employees who might be covered under OASDI.
September 26, 1964 The first issue of a Social Security Commemorative Postal Card was made by the Postal Service. This worked in with the International Social Security Association’s Annual Conference which was held in Washington, D.C.
October 13, 1964 Public Law 88-650 was approved. While dealing primarily with the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program, it also included a Senate Finance Committee amendment making it possible for States to exempt additional amounts of income and resources of persons receiving aid to the blind, under Title X, for up to three years as part of an approved rehabilitation plan.
October 13, 1964 Public Law 88-641 was approved. It included a Senate Finance Committee amendment introduced by Senator Ribicoff which permitted States to continue with Federally-assisted payments, under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, for children who had passed their 18th birthdays and who were still in high school or pursuing an equivalent course or a vocational or technical training course designed to equip them for employment.
January 1, 1965 The Report of the Advisory Council on Social Security on the Status of the Social Security Program and Recommendations for Its Improvement proposed hospital insurance protection for older people.
January 4, 1965 Representative King introduced H.R. 1 to provide hospital insurance under the Social Security program and an increase in cash benefits. Senator Anderson introduced S. 1, the Senate companion bill.
January 7, 1965 President Johnson’s first legislative message to the 89th Congress, Advancing the Nation’s Health, detailed a program including hospital insurance for the aged under Social Security and health care for needy children.
March 23, 1965 The Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives approved a bill to replace the Administration’s proposal with an unprecedented package of health benefits and Social Security improvements. (The Mills Bill.)
March 24, 1965 H.R. 6675 was introduced by Representative Wilbur Mills as the “Social Security Amendments of 1965.”
April 3, 1965 Canada enacted a pension plan which established, for the first time, a contributory system of earnings–related old age, disability and survivors insurance benefits.
April 8, 1965 The House passed H. R. 6675, the “Mills Bill,” without amendment.
May 5, 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson presented a Social Security check to the 20-millionth beneficiary.
July 1, 1965 A provision became effective that children under 18 in families receiving aid to families with dependent children could earn up to $50 a month without having public assistance payments reduced. Another provision became effective that young people aged 18 to 21 could be included in payments made under the aid to families with dependent children program if they were attending a college or university. Another provision became effective that Federal funds under both the old age assistance and the medical assistance for the aged programs could be used on behalf of an aged person during the mouth when he or she was either admitted to or discharged from a medical institution.
July 14, 1965 President Johnson signed the Older Americans Act, establishing an Administration on Aging within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The Act also authorized a five-year program of grants to the States for the aging and the aged; the Administration would assist the the Secretary in all matters pertaining to the aging; it would administer grants provided by the act; it would develop, conduct and arrange for research and the training of personnel in the field of aging; and it would provide technical assistance and consultation to State and local governments.
July 26,1965 The reorganization of the Social Security Administration was announced to accommodate the administration of the new health insurance program. The reorganization regrouped the functions of two bureaus and nine divisions plus the Office of Information and the Central Planning Staff, into five staff offices and seven bureaus at the Central Office. Five Regional Assistant Commissioners, reporting directly to the Office of the Commissioner, were established to strengthen the administration of Social Security programs in the field.
July 30, 1965 President Johnson signed H.R. 6675 to provide health insurance for the elderly. It was signed in Independence, Missouri, in the presence of Harry S. Truman who opened the fight for such legislation in a message to Congress in 1945.
July 30, 1965 The Social Security Act and the Railroad Retirement Act were amended to provide protection against the cost of hospital and related care to persons aged 65 and over and entitled to monthly retirement benefits under these acts (and to persons not so entitled who would reach 65 before 1968); to permit all persons aged 65 and over to purchase protection against the cost of physician’s services, one half of such cost to be paid by the Federal Government out of general revenues; to liberalize cash benefits, the retirement test, and the definition of disability under old age, survivors, and disability insurance; to liberalize the Federal matching ration for public assistance; to require a State which desired Federal matching of the cost of medical care for medically-indigent aged persons to provide similar protection to all needy persons for whom the State was receiving Federal grants; and to increase the Federal grants to the States for maternal and child health and welfare services.
July 30, 1965 Commissioner Ball approved the establishment of a branch office facilities program.
August 19,1965 John W. Gardner was sworn in as the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on August 18, 1965 replacing Anthony J. Celebrezze who left office the previous day.
August 1965 Hugh F. McKenna was named the Director of the Bureau of District Office Operations.
September 1, 1965 For the first time, States could enter into an agreement with the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare which would permit them to arrange for all persons over age 65 who were dependent on public assistance (except those who already received Social Security insurance) to be covered under the voluntary medical insurance program of the Social Security Administration.
September 7, 1965 Announcement was made of the appointments of Arthur E. Hess as Director of the Bureau of Health Insurance, and Bernard Popick as the Director of the Bureau of Disability Insurance, SSA.
September 16, 1965 As another step toward the implementation of the Social Security Administration’s reorganization, the following appointments were made: Karl Bredenberg, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Field Office of the Commissioner. John Campbell, Regional Assistant Commissioner, Boston, Mass. Maurice Dewberry, Regional Assistant Commissioner, Charlottesville, Virginia. Byron Getz, Regional Assistant Commissioner, Chicago, Illinois. Wayman Register, Regional Assistant Commissioner, Dallas, Texas. James Murray, Regional Assistant Commissioner, Atlanta, Georgia. John Richardson, Regional Assistant Commissioner, San Francisco, California. E. Albert Kreek, Regional Assistant Commissioner, Kansas City, Missouri. Joseph Kelly, Regional Assistant Commissioner, New York, New York.
September 1965 Beneficiaries of the old-age, survivors and disability insurance program began receiving a lump sum payment representing a 7% increase in benefits retroactive from January 1, 1965.
September 1, 1965 Benefits were made payable to a divorced wife (married 20 years) and to dependents.
September 1965 Reduced benefits were made payable to a widow at age 60.
September 29, 1965 President Johnson signed H.R. 10874, a bill amending the railroad retirement law.
October 1, 1965 Aged and disabled persons who were receiving public assistance could keep up to $50 a month of earnings without having their public assistance payments reduced. (Action was optional with the States.)
October 9, 1965 An amendment to the Economic Opportunity Act was enacted (P.L. 89-253). It added a new section, Programs for the Elderly Poor, which stated that it was the intention of Congress that whenever feasible the special problems of the elderly poor should be considered in the development, conduct and administration of the antipoverty program.
October 13, 1965 Public Law 88-650 was enacted. Eligibility for disability benefits of persons meeting eligibility requirements at the time they became disabled was made fully retroactive by permanent legislation. The Social Security Act was amended to extend through April 15, 1965, the time within which ministers (including Christian Science practitioners) could elect to be covered under Social Security.
October 30, 1965 Public Law 89-306 was approved. The law provided for the economic and efficient purchase, lease, maintenance, operation, and utilization of automatic data processing equipment by Federal departments and agencies.
November 8, 1965 The Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1965 (P.L. 89-333) were approved. These amendments were intended to improve and expand the existing vocational rehabilitation legislation by making possible more flexible financing and administration of State vocational rehabilitation programs, increase the number of Federal projects for rehabilitating older workers, and establish more workshops and services for older and disabled persons.
November 11, 1965 President Johnson announced the initial appointments to the Health Insurance Benefits Advisory Council. Kermit Gordon was named the chairman. This advisory council’s function was to advise the Secretary on matters of general policy and on the formation of regulations for the health insurance programs.
November 30, 1965 Joseph E. McElvain retired and Charles M. Erisman, Deputy Director, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, succeeded him.
1965 Housing and Urban Renew Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-117) was enacted. It authorized a rent supplement program which would provide private housing for low-income, disabled, and elderly people; expanded the public housing program to provide an estimated additional 30,000 new units of public housing for older people; lowered the interest rate in the direct loan program for building moderate income housing for the elderly.
January 1966 States were authorized to set up new medical assistance and medical assistance to the aged programs, with the Federal Government to pay from 50% to 85% of the cost.
January 1, 1966 Persons receiving public assistance because of old-age, blindness or disability could have their payments made to a third person if they had physical or mental impairments which made them unable to manage the payments themselves.
January 1, 1966 Federal public assistance funds could be used for aged persons who were patients in institutions for tuberculosis or mental diseases or who, because of diagnosis or tuberculosis or mental disease, were patients in a medical institution. Federal aid could also be used for the needy blind and disabled persons who were in general medical institutions because of a diagnosis of tuberculosis or mental disease.
January 1, 1966 From this date on, any decision about a State’s public assistance plans made by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare which would have the effect of denying Federal aid could be appealed in Federal courts.
February 12, 1966 The Social Security Administration announced the selection of 32 Blue Shield organizations, 16 commercial insurance companies and one private insurer to perform the major administrative functions of the voluntary part of the Medicare program.
March 1, 1966 Victor Christgau assumed the duties of Assistant to the Commissioner.
March 6, 1966 President Johnson signed a proclamation designating March 1966 as “National Medicare Enrollment Month.”
March 11, 1966 The Social Security Administration’s reorganization of 1965 was formally approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
March 15, 1966 The Tax Adjustment Act of 1966 was signed. It provided for payment of cash benefits under OASDHI for all persons aged 70 or over even if they lack insured status; it required non-farm self-employed to make estimated payments of their Social Security taxes on a quarterly basis.
March 31, 1966 This was the deadline for Social Security beneficiaries to enroll in the voluntary medical insurance program for coverage to start on July 1, 1966. All beneficiaries who reached their 65th birthday prior to January 1, 1966, were eligible. Persons who reached their 65th birthday after that date had to enroll during the three-month period before they became 65. The medical insurance payment of $3 a month was to be taken out of the person’s OASDI check, but his public assistance grants could be raised to compensate for the deduction.
March 31, 1966 President Johnson asked Congress to give prompt and sympathetic consideration to extending to May 31, 1966, the deadline for enrollment in the supplementary medical plan.
April 8, 1966 President Johnson announced he would seek higher Social Security benefits in 1967.
April 8, 1966 President Johnson signed Public Law 89-384. It provided that persons aged 65 before March 1966 or reaching age 65 from March 1 through June 30 could have coverage under the supplementary medical insurance plan of the Social Security program in July 1966 if they enrolled by May 31.
April 1966 The Special Staff for Employee Management Relations and Equal Employment Opportunity at SSA was formed.
May 16, 1966 The one-millionth disabled worker in current payment status was added to the disability benefit rolls. In February 1966, Marlin Enders, a 51-year-old coal miner from Tremont, Pennsylvania was awarded disability benefits for himself and his family.
July 1, 1966 On this date all persons over 65 were automatically covered under all of the hospital insurance provisions of the new legislation, except for the nursing home provision. Public assistance funds were needed to pay the deductibles for those who could not afford them. Benefits under the voluntary medical insurance program began for OASDI beneficiaries who signed up for it earlier and for elderly persons who received public assistance payments in States that previously entered into an agreement for their coverage.
July 4, 1966 President Johnson signed into law the Freedom of Information Act. This law codified in federal administrative practice, for the first time, the idea that the public has a “right to know” what information the government maintains on its citizens. It thus became part of SSA’s policies on disclosure of information.
July 1966 A program of extended office hours was instituted in all field offices of the Social Security Administration. The program provided for four additional hours to be scheduled each week in all of SSA’s more than 700 offices.
October 12, 1966 President Johnson visited the Social Security Administration’s headquarters to participate in the 15th Annual Honor Awards Ceremony.
October 30, 1966 The President signed H.R. 14355 and H.R. 17285, two railroad retirement bills. The first made improvements in the benefit provisions of the Railroad Retirement Act and improved the coordination of the benefits of the Social Security and railroad retirement programs more closely into line with those of Social Security. The second established a system of employer-financed supplemental annuities under the Railroad Retirement Act and provided a benefit increase of up to 7% for certain annuitants under the railroad retirement system–in general, for those who did not receive an increase, as a result of the 1965 Social Security amendments, through the operation of the Social Security minimum provision of the Railroad Retirement Act.
November 2, 1966 Public Law 713 was approved. The act amended Title XVIII of the Social Security Act by extending the initial enrollment period for supplementary medical insurance benefits.
November 2, 1966 President Johnson signed into law P.L. 89-713, requiring the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to permit the nursing homes a modest profit when reimbursing them for their services to Medicare patients.
November 14, 1966 A special three-judge Federal court in California held the disclaimer of communist affiliation provision of the Medicare Law to be unconstitutional.
November 1966 The basic extended office hour period was reduced from four to three hours except in those offices where the additional hour was needed.
December 30, 1966 Joseph L. Fay, Director of the Bureau of Data Processing and Accounts, retired.
1966 The Advanced Record System was introduced to District Offices. This provided SSA with a single, integrated telecommunications network.
January 1, 1967 Benefits for extended-care services following hospitalization became available to persons enrolled in the hospital insurance program under the Social Security Act.
January 4, 1967 A provision in P.L. 89-97 that required of certain Medicare applicants a disclaimer of communist affiliation was conceded to be unconstitutional by the Department of Justice.
January 23, 1967 President Johnson sent to Congress his special “Message on Older Americans,” embodying his recommendations for Social Security. He urged the provision of more adequate welfare payments related to the standards of the States themselves.
January 31, 1967 The President, in a special message on veterans’ benefits, asked Congress to insure that no veteran’s pension be reduced as a result of increases in Federal retirement benefits, such as social security.
February 3, 1967 With the mailing of the benefit checks, the Social Security Administration became the first large Federal agency to implement mass ZIP code mailing.
February 28, 1967 The Gorham Report or “Report to the President on Medical Care Prices,” was submitted to the President.
March 8, 1967 Arthur E. Hess became the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
March 8, 1967 Mr. Thomas M. Tierney was selected as the new Director of the Bureau of Health Insurance.
March 1967 Hugh F. McKenna was named the Director of the Bureau of Retirement and Survivors Insurance replacing Richard E. Branham who left the post on January 15, 1967, and James W. Murray became the Director of the Bureau of District Office Operations.
May 1, 1967 The new Federal Records Center was opened in Suitland, Maryland. All Social Security Administration records stored in Alexandria, Virginia, were moved to Suitland.
May 31, 1967 The HEW Task Force on Prescription Drugs was established and Robert M. Ball, Commissioner of Social Security, was appointed a member.
June 27-28, 1967 The National Conference on Medical Costs was held in Washington, D.C.
June 29,1967 The International Labor Conference adopted two new international instruments on old age, invalidity, and survivors pensions. A convention established new international standards for the pension systems of member countries of the International Labor Organization. The other instrument, a recommendation, suggested additional standards to member countries for eventual application to their pension systems.
July 1,1967 States that had set up the new medical assistance program could continue to get Federal support for it only if, by this date, they provided a minimum of five services: inpatient hospital services, outpatient hospital services, skilled nursing home services (for adults); physicians’ services; and laboratory and x-ray services.
July 3,1967 President Johnson signed S. 714, which provided a substantial increase in the amount which Federal credit union officials could borrow from their own credit unions
July 1967 The Freedom of Information Act became effective.
August 15, 1967 Secretary Gardner realigned the welfare, rehabilitation, and service programs of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Reorganization merged three existing agencies of the Department (the Welfare Administration, the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, and the Administration on Aging) into a new agency, the Social and Rehabilitation Service.
September 28-29,1967 The National Conference on Private Health Insurance was held in Washington, D.C. (sponsored by the DHEW and organized by the Social Security Administration).
September 30, 1967 President Johnson signed into law (P.L. 90-97) a bill to delay until January 1, 1968, the deadline for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to establish a new monthly premium rate for the voluntary portion of the Medicare program. Also extended through March 1968 was the first general enrollment period under Part B of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, (relating to supplementary medical insurance benefits for the aged).
September 1967 The first District Office built with trust fund money opened in Anniston, Alabama.
December 11, 1967 William E. Hanna, Jr., became the Director of the Bureau of Data Processing and Accounts.
December 13, 1967 President Johnson signed into law S.1085, a bill broadening the lending authority of loan officers in Federal Credit Unions and providing increased flexibility in the declaration of dividends.
December 15, 1967 Congress cleared for the President’s signature a bill (R.R. 12080) providing a 13% across-the-board increase in social security benefits and setting new restrictions on welfare payments.
December 15, 1967 Uganda’s Social Security Act came into effect. Its purpose was to establish a provident fund called the Social Security Fund and to provide for its membership, the payment of contributions to, and the payment of benefits out of, the Fund.
December 27, 1967 An act was passed enabling the District of Columbia to receive Federal Financial assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act for a medical assistance program.
December 30, 1967 The DHEW announced that, effective April 1, 1968, the new premium rate for the voluntary portion of the Medicare program would be $4 for both the Medicare beneficiary and the government.
January 2, 1968 President Johnson signed into law the 1967 Amendments to the Social Security Act. In addition to a 13% increase in benefits, the measure made changes in the minimum benefit, the retirement test, in disability benefits, coverage, hospital and Medicare insurance and increased the earnings base from $6,600 to $7,800.
January 2, 1968 President Johnson appointed a Commission on Income Maintenance Programs to conduct a two-year study into all aspects of existing welfare and related programs and to make recommendations for improvement.
January 24, 1968 Special disability units were established in the District Offices.
February 1, 1968 Effective this date, a female worker who was fully insured at the time of death, disability, or retirement was no longer required to be also currently insured at such time in order for: (1) a child to be deemed dependent on her (and thus able to become entitled to monthly benefits without establishment of actual dependency); or (2) a dependent husband or widower to be able to become entitled to monthly benefits. Also effective this date, reduced benefits were made payable to disabled widows (and disabled surviving divorced wives at ages 50 to 59) and to dependent disabled widowers at ages 50 to 61.
February 29, 1968 John W. Gardner resigned as the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, effective on this date.
March 4, 1968 President Johnson sent to the Congress a special message on health in America.
March 28, 1968 President Johnson signed H.R. 12555. This legislation overhauled the system of income brackets which measure the need of veterans and their families for pensions based on nonservice-connected disability or death of the veteran. The law was designed to prevent the loss of pensions when social security benefits or other sources of retirement income were increased.
April 1, 1968 Japan extended compulsory coverage under the workers’ accident compensation law to some 2.5 million workers employed in commerce, finance and service industries.
April 27, 1968 The Health Insurance Benefits Advisory Council met. A new chairman, Charles L. Schultze,was appointed along with six new members.
May 16, 1968 Wilbur J. Cohen was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
June 26, 1968 Puerto Rico enacted a Disability Benefits Act to establish a program of income replacement for short-term non-work connected illness. This was the first mandatory program of temporary disability insurance to be legislated since 1949 when the State of New York initiated its program.
June 28, 1968 Wilbur J. Cohen, Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, appointed a 12-member advisory council to study coverage of the disabled under Medicare. Dr. Henry H. Kessler was named to act as chairman.
July 1, 1968 Effective this date, individuals had the right to request expedited action on initial claims requests for reinstatement or a report of non-receipt of a check after a specified time.
July 1, 1968 A national program for medical care insurance went into effect in Canada.
July 7, 1968 P.L. 90-391 was signed into law. it established a new program of Federal support for State vocational assistance for disadvantaged, as well as physically and mentally handicapped, persons.
August 5, 1968 The Bermuda Contributory Pensions Act of 1967 became effective. Except for the Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1965, it was the first social security measure of its kind in Bermuda.
August 6, 1968 The Republican Party platform offered a proposal to permit persons over the age of 65 to continue their social security payments and to defer their benefit payments until they retired.
August 28, 1968 The Democratic Party platform called for an increase in benefits under social security, as well as automatic cost of living increases The party platform also asked for inclusion of the costs of prescription drugs under Medicare, extension of Medicare to disabled persons of any age, and for enactment of tax legislation to encourage retirement plans for the self-employed.
September-October, 1968 The move of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals from the District of Columbia to Arlington, Virginia, was completed. (They had formerly occupied the HEW South Building.)
September 28, 1968 The President signed the bill authorizing the White House Conference on Aging in 1971.
October 1968 The appointment of Theodore C. Bedwell, Jr., M.D. as Chief Medical Officer for the Medicare program, was announced by Commissioner Robert M. Ball.
October 1968 James Nease became the head of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals.
December 1968 California’s Lt. Governor, Robert H. Finch, was named by President Nixon to be the eighth Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
December 20, 1968 Public hearings to seek ways of improving the Medicaid program began in Atlanta, Georgia. They were to be held in eight other major cities.
December 31, 1968 Secretary of the DHEW Wilbur J. Cohen announced that the SMI monthly premium rate for the period of July 1969 through June 1970 would remain at $4.00.
1969 The Metropolitan Answering Service (MAS) was first established in Washington, D.C. and then extended to Los Angeles, California and to other cities during the year.
January 1, 1969 The hospital deductible, for which the Medicare beneficiary was responsible, was increased from $40.00 to $44.00.
January 1, 1969 The increased tax rate for Social Security became effective. The rate was raised from 4.4% for the earnings base of $7,800 to 4.8%. The rate for self-employed persons was raised from 6.4% to 6.9%.
January 3, 1969 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare transmitted to the President a report on the retirement test under the Social Security program as called for by the 1967 amendments. The report recommended it be retained with some changes.
January 13, 1969 The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, sent to the President the report of the Task Force on Prescription Drugs as called for by the 1967 amendments.
January 14, 1969 DHEW Secretary Wilbur J. Cohen called for a program under Medicare to aid the elderly in paying for necessary prescription drugs used outside the hospital.
January 15, 1969 President Johnson’s budget proposed a minimum 10% increase in Social Security benefit payments for 1970.
January 20, 1969 Robert H. Finch was sworn in as the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
January 22, 1969 Secretary Finch appointed an Advisory Council to study the Social Security program and report back by January 1971. Ex-Secretary of HEW, Arthur S. Flemming, was appointed chairman.
February 11, 1969 In a directive to the Secretary of HEW, President Nixon asked for an evaluation of the proposal that an automatic cost-of-living increase be applied to Social Security benefits, and suggestions for other reforms in Social Security.
February 1969 The Bureau of Disability Insurance completed its move to the Dickinson Building by mid-month.
March 4, 1969 Regulations were issued by DHEW to the States to ensure efficient and economical use of Medicaid services. Under the new regulations, States had to include in the administration of the Medicaid program procedures to review the utilization of health care services provided by the program.
April 1969 The Bureau of District Office Operations reorganized its central office.
April 1969 In coordination with HEW’s own task force, SSA established a Task Force on Manpower Utilization, which was headed up by Jack S. Futterman.
April 19, 1969 The central office staff of the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions completed its move to 1325 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
May 1969 Secretary Finch released the final report of the Task Force on Prescription Drugs. Dr. Philip R. Lee headed the Task Force from its inception in May 19, 1967. The Task Force’s charge was to study the possibility of adding prescription drug coverage to the recently enacted Medicare program.
May 1969 The Bureau of Data Processing and Accounts was reorganized.
March 27 & May 21, 1969 President Nixon signed the Reorganization Act establishing ten common regional boundaries for agencies providing social and economic services: (Region I, Boston; Region II, New York City; Region III, Philadelphia; Region IV, Atlanta; Region V, Chicago; Region VI, Dallas-Fort Worth; Region VII, Kansas City; Region VIII, Denver; Region IX, San Francisco; and Region X, Seattle).
June 1969 The HEW Secretary transmitted to the Congress the First Annual Report on the Medicare program by the Health Insurance Benefits Advisory Council.
July 1, 1969 The Department of Defense started using the SSN in lieu of the military service number to identify personnel in the armed forces.
July 1969 The Bureau of Health Insurance set up a program integrity staff to counter abuses in the health insurance program.
1969 HEW Secretary Finch established a Secretary’s Task Force on Medicaid and Related Programs. The president of the National Blue Cross Association, Walter J. McNurney, was made chairman; Arthur Hess was its staff director.
August 11, 1969 President Nixon proposed a new approach to the problems of welfare.
September 25, 1969 President Nixon sent a message to Congress calling for improvements in the Social Security program. Major proposals called for a 10% across-the-board increase in benefits, improvements in the retirement test and increasing the earnings base.
October 29, 1969 President Nixon issued Executive Order 11491, Labor Management Relations in the Federal Service. it was to go into effect January 1, 1970.
November 1969 Late in the month, SSA moved into the new Supply Building at the Woodlawn Complex.
December 30, 1969 President Nixon signed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act under Title IV of the act. Monthly cash benefits were provided coal miners who became totally disabled because of pneumoconiosis (black lung disease), and for their dependents and survivors. The Social Security Administration was made responsible for the payment and administration of benefit claims provided before January 1, 1973. The Department of Labor was to have the responsibility for claims filed after December 31, 1973.
December 30, 1969 President Nixon signed the Tax Reform Act of 1969. Included as Title X were increases in Social Security benefits. These amendments provided for a 15% increase on Social Security monthly cash benefits effective for months after December 1969.
How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Social Security Administration (2015). Chronology: 1960s. Retrieved (date accessed) from http://www.ssa.gov/history/1960.html.
Editor’s Note: To search the SSA Chronology to the year 2010 go to: www.ssa.gov/history/chrono.html