Social Policy, Welfare, and Change

Discussion 1 Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining a strategy for how a social worker might help clients manage these perceptions, given the differences your colleagues described.
Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Discussion 1 Colleagues Post 1

Chelsea Soifua

RE: Discussion 1 – Week 5

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Social Security is a program that the public pays into then later draws from after they retire. The Social Security Act of 1935 created a social insurance program to protect individuals and their families from adverse events. Individuals paid small amounts from each check. Benefits were intended to balance itself out as some individuals would never use the funds they put in, while other most likely would need more than what their premium was for. The amount you receive is calculated from the amounts you have contributed throughout your employment career when you reached their set age of retirement (U.S. Social Security Administration).

Public assistance programs are programs to support the public when they do not have the resources to support themselves. These programs are ones where individuals must fit a set of criteria to qualify for the benefits.

These differences are important for all workers to understand because public assistance programs are there for all individuals. Regardless of the person’s work history, some programs will not allow for assistance if the individual makes too much. This is also important for workers to understand so that they can get their clients involved with the correct programs that will meet the clients needs.


Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2019). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

U.S. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2013, from

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Discussion 1 Colleagues Post 2

Samuel Rullo Ribeiro

RE: Discussion 1 – Week 5

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A significant difference between social security and public assistance programs, is that social security is meant to provide monthly income for individuals that are of retirement age. Whereas public assistance programs are generally in place and meant to benefit those in a time of need due to various factors. (Popples & Leighninger, 2019)

Title II “Federal Old-Age Benefits”, of the Social Security Act is what people generally understand to be the primary intention of the program. It is a program that taxpayers pay into based on their income. Then when the taxpayer turns 65 and retires, they will receive a monthly income. (Popples & Leighninger, 2019)

It is important to note that there are welfare programs built into social security that are in place to assist individuals when they are in a time of need, like other public assistance programs. In my opinion there is far less of a negative perception surrounding social security benefits. I believe this is because most people understand social security’s primary function is to distribute funds to retired individuals who have spent their life working. Often the stigma for public assistance programs is that it is there to serve those unwilling to work. In my opinion I think this is a distinct and unfair difference in perception of the programs. As, at their core both programs are meant to financially assist people in a time of need.


Popple, P. R., Leighninger, L. (2019). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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Discussion 2 Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining a strategy social workers might use to advocate for fair benefits within this program for the populations your colleagues selected.

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Discussion 2 Colleagues Post 1

DeAnna Oliver

RE: Discussion 2 – Week 5

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For this discussion, I will be describing the African American population and how they may be disenfranchised by the social security program. According to data from the United States Census Bureau, African Americans make up approximately 13.4% of the close to 332 million persons living in the United States (United States Census Bureau, 2020). Spriggs and Furman reported that some 4.8 million African Americans receive some sort of Social Security benefits.

There are several reasons why there may be disparities in the benefits that African Americans receive from Social Security. One of those reasons is due to the fact that African Americans tend to have lower income overall. Social Security benefits are dependent on one’s income over their lifetime. In turn, when African Americans are earning less over subsequently, their Social Security benefits will be less. In addition, this leaves less income for African Americans to place any money in other types of retirement savings plans making African Americans more reliant on their lower social security benefits (Hendley & Bilimoria, 1999). This disparity in income places millions African Americans at greater risk for poverty.


Hendley, Alexa, and Bilimoria, Natasha. (1999). Minorites and Social Security: an analysis of racial and ethnic differences in the current program. Social Security Bulletin.

United States Census Bureau. (2020). Quick Facts

Spriggs, William and Furman, Jason. (2006). Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. African American and Social Security. The implications of reform proposals.

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