This question is somewhat related to (perhaps broader than) my previous Make [welfare] a tag synonym of [social-welfare]. It may also be related to the tag.

In this case, the question is about social security, which is a rather ambiguous term. According to Wikipedia:

Terminology in this area is somewhat different in the United States from in the rest of the English-speaking world. The general term for an action program in support of the well being of poor people in the United States is welfare program, and the general term for all such programs is simply welfare. In American society, the term welfare arguably has negative connotations.

In the United States, the term Social Security refers to the US social insurance program for all retired and disabled people. Elsewhere the term is used in a much broader sense, referring to the economic security society offers when people are faced with certain risks.


The current is limited to the US definition. I think usage should be clarified more in the tag description and usage info. Given the large number of different benefits (e.g. see this list for the UK), it makes sense to have a meta post (this one?) that acts as a usage guide for correctly tagging such questions.

Actual question

The primary goal of this question is to get an idea of how welfare / social-security questions should be tagged. Ideally, I think, it's kept simple with not too many tags but enough tags to get useful results when searching for similar questions.

For example, it makes sense for old-age and disability benefits to be tagged the same in the US, but not so for other countries. We could decide to tag them all the same, but then you're left with the ambiguity of different countries using the same name for different things.

Different programs / subjects that could be tagged differently but may not be entirely clear now (some are clear but added for completeness):

  1. US social security program for old-age and disabled people

  2. non-US program for disabled people (e.g. disability living allowance in the UK)

  3. non-US old-age benefits

  4. jobseeker's Allowance

  5. Maternity Allowance

How should these subjects be tagged on this site?

Please indicate in your answer how these subjects should be tagged. Feel free to suggest more subjects that may be asked about on this site, are not obvious and should be added to the list.

1 Answer 1


US social security program for old-age and disabled people

These are actually three different programs in the United States. The one commonly referred to as "Social Security" is the old age income program. There is also "Social Security Disabilty Insurance", also known as "SSDI" or "disability", which is paid to people who have worked before and are now disabled or blind and cannot work. Then there is "Supplimental Security Income" or "SSI", which is for people who have have not worked before who are blind or disabled.

The rules and politics for these three programs are not the same, even though they are all run by the US Social Security Administration. Social Security is generally popular despite concerns about its fiscal sustainability, SSDI and SSI are less so.

So, yeah, I'm not sure that we should tag all three of these under social-security. But it depends on whether social-security is actually the US program or the broader concept.

Then again if it's a question about searching, I guess it would depend on what's useful to search for. How many people specifically want to search for a specific UK public assistance program with a tag? I genuinely don't know because I'm not from the UK. I think I'd search for "UK welfare" or something.

  • 1
    My question is more about how to tag them (which also impacts how search engines find them etc.). Currently, it's not really clear how to tag them and all the American ones seem to be tagged social-security (per its tag info). It makes sense to at least have community consensus on which categories we want. I don't think country-specific tags are a good idea, that can already be achieved by combining tags.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 18:24

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