Our Family Security

Carol's disabled brother Robert has been living with her and her family for 23 years since their parents passed away.

Challenges to Social Security had been intensifying, and reached the stage where Congress was considering proposed cutbacks projected to total 25% of program funding. It was clear that many regarded the program as a burden for American taxpayers. We created this website to show that Social Security is not a costly program for “other people” but rather a vital resource in maintaining the economic well-being of ordinary American families.

Our Family Security was developed as a hub of information and stories from the perspectives of real people who have a family member that receives benefits. The video narratives were meant to convey in an easily understandable way how Social Security benefits the recipient and the family as a whole.

One video told the story of a woman whose brother Robert has an intellectual disability, but thanks to Social Security benefits has been able to live with her and her family, and participate in the community, for 23 years since their parents passed away. Another followed the daily activities of 26 year-old Ivan Torres, has been slowly nursed back from the brink by his mother and sisters – in a way that would not have been possible without Social Security support – after being severely injured in an automobile accident.

The project aimed to show the vital role Social Security plays in maintaining the economic well-being of ordinary American families over the course of usual life events.

The website also provided a digital resource for consumers on Social Security disability program. It includes a brief history of Social Security, with explainers on who gets benefits and what benefits, how the programs are financed, and policy issues and ways to take action.

The project was funded under a special grant from the National Academy of Social Insurance, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization.

Visit the project site

Keep up with the latest from Smart Policy Works
Explore 25 years of change that mattered
Take a look at what we're up to now