This included financial supports and pensions for disabled veterans--often referred to as the 'worthy poor'.
In March 1841, the famous Dorothea Dix by chance visited the East Cambridge, Massachusetts, jail and was shocked at the deplorable treatment of the insane inmates.
Dorothea Dix was the original pioneer that advocated for the mentally ill and disabled. She lobbied for better conditions in psychiatric institutions, across the United States, and was a voice for those that were often neglected.
Attempts were made to move poor people from work yards to poor houses if they were in search of relief funds.
The Social Security Act of 1935 altered the total plan of helping persons in need.
This marked the first time the federal government assumed major responsibility in assisting the needy.
On January 17th, 1935, in the midst of The Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration passed the Social Security Bill---which includes the original requirements for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or "welfare," and other relief programs such as old age benefits, unemployment insurance and aid to the blind.
360,000 families begin receiving AFDC payments.
The number of AFDC recipients grows by 800,000 families.
President John F. Kennedy signs the Public Welfare Amendments of 1962 into law, encouraging states to provide social services leading to self-care and self-support.
Economic Opportunity Act passes Congress promoted as President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." This act is one of several social programs that came to be known as the "Great Society."