I've been dependent on Social Security ever since my husband died of cancer in 1965, leaving me with eight children, the youngest only 2 months old. I was not quite 35 at the time, and would have been applying for welfare, but with Social Security I was able to care for my children.
Two years later, I married a man with one child and we had a daughter, but on my 45th birthday, he had a stroke, leaving him paralyzed on one side, so I applied for disability benefits for him and my youngest, who was 5. I relied mostly on Social Security to raise my children, along with part-time work until I turned 62, when I applied for benefits for myself. I have been an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer for 19 years. I am also a ballroom dancer, dance every week, work out at the Y lifting weights, own my home and have a big vegetable garden. I am very grateful for Social Security, as without it, I surely would have been dependent on welfare.