Organised work of social security, conducted at the national level, was started in Lithuania on the very first days after the restoration of independence of Lithuania.
As early as in 1918, with the formation of the first Lithuanian Government, a separate Ministry of Public Works and Catering was established in Lithuania consisting of Social Security, Catering, and Labour Departments. Later, at the beginning of 1919, when the headquarters of the Government were moved to the temporary capital Kaunas, the Ministry of Public Works and Catering was reorganised into two ministries: (i) Labour and Social Security, and (ii) Provision and Catering. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security functioned for a short period as it was closed down by Order of 29 October, 1919 (Valstybės Žinios, (The Official Gazette) No. 16). Its functions were assigned to the newly established Labour and Social Security Department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs consisting of three divisions: Labour, Social Security, and Exiles Repatriation.
At the beginning of 1924, the Department was reorganised into the Chief Labour and Social Security Inspectorate. In 1937, it was renamed into the Labour and Social Security Department. The Department fulfilled the functions of implementation and management of social security work at the national level for approximately 20 years.
The term “social security” used to imply state care of the residents incapable, due to their social condition, of self-provision or of creating appropriate living conditions to themselves in order to live side by side with other social strata, the capable in this case. At that time, social security used to be divided into the following main areas: labour security, social insurance, and social care.