Sunday letters: Social Security a benefit, not a right

June 30, 2013 

Social Security is indeed a federal benefit program, not “earned income,” as Frank Kline asserts in his June 10 letter, “What did they do with our money?”. Consider the following:

My grandfather joined the program when it was first introduced. He made payments to the system for about a year and then retired. He received benefit payments immediately. His first monthly payment exceeded the amount he contributed the previous year. He collected benefit payments until his death.

If a husband with young children dies, his children are eligible for Social Security payments until they reach the age of 18.

If the elderly parents of a legal immigrant are brought to this country, the parents are eligible for Social Security payments without ever paying a dime into the system.

If a husband and wife work for 40 years each and retire together at the age of 65, then go on a vacation and both die in a car accident, what happens to their “investment”?

The system keeps it, except for a burial payment of $250 each.

Everette E. Tompkins


The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service