They were funded and still are by workers everyday.
used to be. not so anymore. not only are there not enough people paying it to keep it going, but there are many more people taking out that were ever intended. + the life span has gone up.
consider how many people are drawing disability. i just heard an ad on the radio. "you paid for this. it's an entitlement". maybe you paid some, but not as much as you are going to take out. what about all the people with disabilities who never paid in? there's no means testing. disabled = get money. and what is a disability? when my granddaughter was diagnosed with ADHD, the office assistant said "you can apply for disability for her now!".
one person may pay into ssi, but 5 may take out if that payer dies and the family collects. again, no means testing. the worker may have left the family well off with multimillion dollar insurance policies, but they can still collect.
off the top of my head, the numbers i remember were 12 years being the average life expectancy of the early ssi payers after retirement. that number is now 20 years or better.
medicare: everyone can get it payed in or not. the average senior will have taken out all they put in within 10 years.
both programs are welfare after a point. you are getting OPM.
not something the seniors (like me) like to hear, but there it is.