Some of the most widely known social policies in the United States include social security, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation. Public assistance programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Section 8 Housing Assistance, as well as medical assistance programs like Medicare and Medicaid, are also well-known and frequently used social policies in the United States.
Social Security, formally known as "Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance," is a universal social program that allows American citizens to contribute and receive benefits, regardless of financial need. Citizens pay a portion of each paycheck into social security and can then collect the benefit after reaching a certain age or becoming unable to work. Public assistance, which is frequently referred to as "welfare," is based on an individual's need but allows for assistance during times of financial strife.
Many social programs, such as public housing and food stamps, are social policies intended to create a safety net for the poorest citizens of the United States. Through these programs, citizens dealing with poverty can ensure that they can meet basic needs, such as shelter and food. However, the programs are not able to help every citizen in need, due to funding limitations and the growing number of homeless Americans.