In 1965-66 Congress also identified another "disadvantaged" group:
elderly individuals (age 72 before 1971) who had not been able to work
long enough under Social Security to become insured for a benefit. People
in this group were granted special Social Security benefits paid for
entirely by the general revenues of the Treasury. These were known as
Special Age 72, or Prouty, benefits. Over time, of course, these
beneficiaries will disappear as Father Time claims members of the group."
from the SSA website.
Winston L. Prouty was the Maine Senator who initiated the amendment to the