The Great Depression contributed to a substantial change of social and economic policies of the US government. At the same time, the Great Depression became a turning point in the history of the US since it stimulated the development of a new concept of the welfare state, where American citizens, including the most deprived ones, could count for the social security and support from the part of the state.
The Social Security Act of 1937 laid the foundation to the welfare state in the USA. The act aimed at thee protection of American citizens in face of such problems as poverty, unemployment, old age, etc. In other words, the act implied the support of citizens who could not afford living on their own because of their age, unemployment, etc.
After the implementation of the act, the state policies changed consistently, but there were implemented new acts and programs in the course of the 20th century, which aimed at the improvement of social security of the poor in the USA. In this respect, it is worth mentioning such vitally important programs as Medicare and Medicaid, which were introduced specifically for old people or working people who could not afford health insurance and, thus could not receive health care services and were practically doomed to die without money they could spend on treatment.
In addition, there was the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which protected Americans with disabilities who were in a disadvantageous position because of their health problem. After the introduction of the act Americans with disabilities got larger job opportunities and social security. Among more recent programs, it is worth mentioning the No Child Left Behind program which aims at the aid to children in need in regard to education and social services.
Today, the government maintains social security policies and increases the state support of social programs.