What does the social security administration develop regulations to determine?

A. Ensure that all its citizens can read and write.

B. Assemble its armed forces and move them quickly.

C. Make sure that all its citizens eat healthy food.

D. End hostilities with a neighboring country.

The answer is C: That’s the closest options because Social Security programs are designed to enable and ensure citizens to have a decent quality of life.


Introduction to Social Security Administration

Social Security is an insurance and social welfare plan that is run by the U.S government. This involves payment and benefits to survivors of deceased workers, disabled workers, and retirees.

Social Security includes disability income, retirement income, Medicare, death as well as survivorship benefits. To claim this benefit, workers need to pay Social Security taxes.

All American citizens and eligible U.S. residents who apply can get a Social Security number. It is a 9-digit number used to keep track of the number of years worked and the total earnings of the worker. Workers also pay the Social Security taxes based on this number.

The number, along with a person’s contributions are used to calculate the benefits a worker is eligible for when the time comes. Income taxes, bank accounts, loans, Medicare, public assistance all require Social Security Number as the base information.

Social Security Administration Benefits

Following are some benefits that are provided by the Social Security Administration:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits: Disability benefits are paid to persons or their family if he/she has worked for long and has a medical condition which prevents the person from working or is expected to prevent the person from working for at least 12 months or would end in death. The worker must be younger than the full retirement age.
  • Social Security Disabled Surviving Divorced Spouse Benefits: These benefits are paid to the surviving but divorced spouse of a worker who has sufficient Social Security credits. The couple must have been married at least ten years prior to the date of divorce and the surviving spouse must be of least 50 years of age but not 60 yet as well as unmarried (not remarried).
  • Social Security Disabled Widow(er)’s Insurance Benefits: These payments are made to a disabled widower or widow of a deceased worker who had sufficient Social Security credits. The surviving spouse must be at least 50, but not 60 and must not have remarried. The marriage to the deceased spouse must have taken place at least nine months before his death.
  • Social Security Divorced Spouse Benefits: The benefit is paid to the divorced spouse of a worker who is eligible. The divorced partners must be at least 62 and not remarried, and their marriage must have lasted at least ten years before the date of divorce.
  • Social Security Lump Sum Death Payment: The surviving child or spouse of a worker can receive a lump sum of $255 on the death of the worker, contingent to certain requirements.
  • Social Security Medicare Program: This is the health insurance program when the worker has certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure.
  • Social Security Medicare Savings Program: The benefits are for those workers who have limited resources and income to pay for health insurance.
  • Social Security Mother’s or Father’s Insurance Benefits: These benefits are similar to the benefits mentioned above for divorced spouses after the worker has died. However, the surviving spouse must care for the deceased worker’s child who is under 16 and eligible for child insurance benefits.
  • Social Security Parent’s Insurance Benefits: This plan is for the dependent parent of the deceased worker.
  • Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefits: These are for retired workers.
  • Social Security Special Benefits for Qualified WWII Veterans: This benefit is for American veterans (and certain Filipino veterans) for every month, the American veteran had resided outside the United States.
  • Social Security Spouse’s Insurance Benefits: The spouse of a worker is eligible for this, provided the spouse themselves don’t get a higher amount of benefit and must be married to the concerned for at least a year. The partner must be at least 62 or must be caring for the child of the concerned worker.
  • Social Security Surviving Divorced Spouse Benefits: This benefit is similar to the other benefits mentioned above.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This program, federally funded, helps out children and adults who have limited assets and income.

Social Security Nutrition Assistance Programs

Federal, state and local governments provide many nutrition programs to the people of America. The SSA is not directly involved in most of these programs, but they do provide necessary information and assistance in subscribing to such programs.

The food programs can be in the form of food stamps provided by SNAP, nutrition programs for women and children (WIC) or food for elderly persons who are unable to provide for themselves adequately.

The SSA provides publications and any help needed to individuals or families who want to apply to such programs.

Unemployment and Social Security

Unemployment benefits are a part of social welfare, but it does not come under the SSA. Social Security does not count unemployment benefits as earnings. Thus the retirement or disability benefits remain unaffected.

Most states do not reduce the unemployment benefit if one receives Social Security payments as well. However, in the states of Louisiana, Illinois, South Dakota, and Minnesota, unemployment benefits do get reduced in such a case.

Social Security and Retirement

A worker may continue to work after retirement and get Social Security retirement benefits. However, if a worker takes an early retirement, then $1 is deducted from the monthly benefit for every $2 that the worker earns above the annual limit. This limit was $14,640 for 2012.

This rule works only if the worker is below his full retirement age. If a worker is laid-off right before retirement, he can either choose to retire early and take the Social Security benefit. Or he can go on unemployment benefits first and then take the Social Security payment after retirement.


From the answer above, we see that Social Security aims to assist those who need it most. Those people in the society who are vulnerable and need help in living a decent life.

Therefore, the closest answer to the question would be C – Make sure that all its citizens eat healthy food.


  1. Social Security: Taken from investopedia.com
  2. Social Security Administration: Taken from en.wikipedia.org
  3. Nutrition Assistance Programs under Social Security Administration: Taken from the site ssa.gov
  4. Popular Services from Social Security Administration: Taken from usa.gov


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