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Dana Anspach

Who Was the 1st Person to get Social Security Benefits?

By February 9, 2011

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Today I was browsing around the Social Security website (something you can only hope your financial advisor does in their spare time, right?), when I came across their frequently asked questions (FAQs) page. Honestly, I couldn't stop reading. It has a plethora of interesting information; from the history of Social Security, to where the term "social security" comes from, to addressing myths such as whether Congress members pay into the system or not (they do).

One of my favorite FAQs was who was the first person to get Social Security benefits? Really, is this question asked that frequently? Guess so. According to Social Security's Frequently Asked Questions web page the answer is,

"A fellow named Ernest Ackerman got a payment for 17 cents in January 1937. This was a one-time, lump-sum pay-out--which was the only form of benefits paid during the start-up period January 1937 through December 1939."

Seventeen cents. AT 3% inflation over 75 years that's equivalent to $1.56 in today's dollars. Your current or estimated benefits don't sound so bad now, do they?

I spend a fair amount of time on the Social Security site, researching for new articles. Below are my three most recent pieces about Social Security.

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