be on welfare/unemployment benefits

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Senior Member

I understand that ''being on welfare'' means ''being unemployed''
If I am right ''being on welfare'' and ''receiving unemplyment bebefits'' both have the same meaning.

Many thanks
  • zazap

    Senior Member
    Canada, French and English
    I think it would depend on the country. In Canada, for instance, "welfare" is a monetary help you can get when you don't work, and the amount is the same for everybody in the same conditions. On the other hand you are only entitled to unemployment benefits when you haved worked a certain amount of hours, and the amount you receive is a percentage of the amount you used to earn (I think it's 60%), and you are entitled to it for a certain number of weeks only.
    Are you looking for a translation, or just to understand the terms?


    French Belgium
    The expression "receiving unemployment benefits" seems to insist on the fact that this situation may have advantages, 'benefits", from the speaker's point of view, so there might be an emotional aspect involved....


    Senior Member
    Yes, it can be for unemployment but it can also apply to other benefits given to (usually disadvantaged) individuals by the government, e.g. tax credit given to working mothers. :)


    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Yes, I think you are right, being on welfare means receiving unemployment benefits.

    However different terms are used in different places... in New Zealand we would not say 'on welfare', that is a US term I think. There are many other words for the same thing in this thread.
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