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Disenfranchisement of the Social Security Program

Response 3: Disenfranchisement of the Social Security Program

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.

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


Colleague 1: PW


The population that I selected for this discussion is the self-employed or unemployed.  Self-employed individuals are the ones who own their own business, farms, or day labors.  When a person is self-employed, their income depends on how much business that person does in a year.  If the individual is a farmer, than their income will depend on how many crops that they can sell in a particular year.  There for their income will be changing every year.  If the person is unemployed, then they will not have any income at all.  According to the Social Security Administration (2016), if an individual is self-employed and has a net income of $400 or more than they must report those earnings.  Some people who are self-employed or unemployed simply do not report their earnings because they did not make enough money and they can not afford to pay the Social Security tax.  When a person does not pay the social security tax, than it is difficult for them to collect benefits when they are eligible to retire since it is a trust fund that tax payers pay into when they are working.


     There should be some kind of policy revision that allows for individuals who are self employed to collect Social Security benefits even though they may not be able to pay Social Security taxes one year since their yearly income is changing every year.  These individuals are hard working just like everyone else but they are their own employer and they don’t have any control over how much work that they will do that year.  For instance a farmer can not control the weather conditions for his or her crops, so he or she does not know if those crops are going to be healthy enough to sell at a farmer’s market. There are many senior citizens who depend on Social Security to pay for their long term care because that is the only source of income that they are receiving. According to the NASW (2009) long term care is a system of providing social, personal, and health care services over a sustained period to people who in some way suffer from functional impairment, including a limited ability to perform activities of daily living.  There are people who desperately need these services and do not have family members who can help them with their daily activities.  Therefore, these individuals need the help of Social Security to help pay for these expenses.



NASW. (2009). Social Work Speaks. Washington DC: NASW Press. (Long-term Care pp. 223-228)

U.S. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved on September 29, 2016 from


Colleague 2: DP



The minority population consists of African Americans, American Indian, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, etc.  The minorities are oppressed in comparison to that of their superior race of whites.  Various factors go the minorities oppression and because of being unprivileged it hinders the population in receiving less benefits/opportunities.

Disenfranchised Population by the Social Security Program

I can see that the Social Security Program might disenfranchise the minority population.  Not necessarily on purpose, however it is due to the fact that whites continue to find themselves more advantaged, privileged, and have jobs that are more flourished than the minority population.  The Social Security program gives those who are entitled benefits by the person’s income.  “…minority groups, on average, have different earnings and life expectancies than whites, which affect the benefits that minorities receive under the Social Security system.  They also have less retirement income from other sources, on average, than whites” (Hendley & Bilimoria, 1999).  Indirectly the program affects the minority population in a way that is unable to be controlled by the minority person.




Hendley, A. A., & Bilimoria, N. F. (1999). Minorities and Social Security: An Analysis of Racial and Ethic Differences in the Current Porgram [PDF]. Social Security Administration.

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