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Should the Unemployed be made to Work for their Benefits!

Updated on August 23, 2017

Should you be made to "go out to work" for your benefits?

Should people who are unemployed be made to work for their unemployment benefit?

With the recent Riots in the UK, has strengthened this argument, too many people being given money for nothing, Do you think that people who are able to work should be made to take part in working programmes to entitle them to their benefits? I will look at general terms here, for several countries as through investigation it is not only the UK that seems affected by the financial crisis, we are all facing rising taxes, and increasing unemployment figures.

With the amount of unemployed people in the UK reaching a staggering 1,450,500 (source) and in the US a reported 13.4 million (source ) the governments are expecting these numbers to increase in 2011. How are they going to manage paying out the billions of pounds in Benefits....usually by targeting the working sector? Is this fair? Share your views throughout this page.

Share with your friends, and hopefully become a Working Nation not a Benefit Dependant Nation

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Tell the world your point of view

Keep it clean, but say whatever you want here, to back up your point of view

Is the system fair?

Being unemployed

The harsh reality

We know that losing our jobs is devastating, and we know that having access to certain benefits are a lifesaver to many families. Many families who have contributed to society and paid years of taxes. Receipt of benefits sometimes means survival.

But anyone who has indeed received the basic government benefits know it is not a lot of money and indeed goes straight back to the economy on essentials for the family, leaving not much else. Living from benefit cheque to benefit cheque. This can be depressing, and still you have to go out and find a job.

We know that the longer you are out of a job the harder it is to get a job. It is detrimental to mental health, self esteem and feelings of self worth, the longer the unemployment the harder it is to escape it.

So surely the government could use this to their advantage.

With 1,000s of jobs being cut in the government sector to pay for national debt, which includes unemployment costs. Then this could be given to business owners for them to be able to pay for keeping someone in work, or a "bridging Job" until full-time employment can be found.

When you think of all those people sitting at home, able to work, willing to work, small businesses are shutting down, and more families being pushed to live on the breadline. It does raise some very good questions.

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A question about your employment history

Have you ever been unemployed

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The Employed

I have worked since the day I left school, I have been made redundant twice in my life, and been unemployed for around six months in total. I have always had a Career, but in fact one time I was made redundant I was so determined not to collect benefits, I took a local job, cleaning toilets, on a building site (I shiver every time I think of it!) not the most glamorous and certainly not a job I would want again, but it paid me money. I still had my house, my car and food on the table for me and my daughter, I did not want to become a statistic. now through that job, someone who was impressed by the manner I undertook such a dirty job, offered me a chance at a complete change of Career which I took. I probably would never have come across that person or that opportunity any other way. That career made me able to afford to buy my own home, car and lead a very good lifestyle.

Is it better to have some sort of job

Do you think it is better to take any sort of job, whilst searching for a new career

See results

The Welfare Generation

Has the government inadvertently created the "Welfare Generation"

Has the governments benefit system set up initially to help families inadvertently created the "Welfare Generation"

I have a friend who throughout her life has had several small jobs, but has spent most of her working life on benefits, her partner too. Have at times have appeared to have had more money about them than you and I and at Christmas you would think they are millionaires. Now their oldest has just "signed" on and is now receiving "job seekers Allowance" but chooses to spend all day around the house playing her computer, not actively seeking a job. She has watched her mum and dad do this for years, so what wrong with that? It is learned behavior and a vicious cycle, this teenager has no dreams aspirations or goals, and thinks she will go through life collecting money from the government....more reading here

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A generation Raised on welfare - why bother?

What do you think?

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Job Seekers Allowance

Back to Work Programmes

Government's drive to tackle long term unemployment and benefit dependency, has seen the introduction of Job Seekers allowance, for unemployed, which means you need to

To get Jobseeker's Allowance you must be:

* available for, capable of and actively seeking work - visit the job centre 1 per week and produce evidence of how you have been looking for a job)

* aged 18 or over but below State Pension age - only in special circumstances will they pay 16-17 year olds, trying to encourage further education or straight from school to working

* working less than 16 hours per week on average

* in Great Britain

and they have also introduced a "back to work" programme for people who are claiming sickness benefits, but are on the border of, perhaps with the correct re-training and education and will provide support for hundreds of thousands of long term claimants.>

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What does this mean?

It means that the government is investing money into helping people back to work, helping the unemployed be accountable for looking for jobs, and catching the ones who are defrauding the system. Even the renaming of benefits is seen as a more positive name than "income Support" of Employment and Support Allowance replaces the old name Income Support, There are two types of ESA, work related category - meaning you will be provided with support to help you make your way back into work, a mandatory provision to keep receiving your benefit.

And the support group, who are ill and deemed 100% completely unfit for any type of work, and excluded from taking part in this activity.

I still believe it is the ones who want to work, and who are making efforts to find work already will suffer, and be continuously penalized because there continues to be the ones who manage to continue to fly under the radar gets away Scot free,

There is a huge increase in Benefit fraud, the government knows this and have spent nearly £56 million on advertising about benefit fraud, so they know it is a BIG problem.

There is even a national Benefit Fraud hot line and apparently cost the government " an estimated £900 million from public funds," and they appear to be winning with this campaign

Benefit theft includes deliberately not telling if:

* you are now living with a partner

* you have started work, or about any earnings

* about any savings or not telling us the right amount

* children have left home

* you have inherited money

* you are going abroad, living abroad, or have changed address

Picture credit and information Source DWP

Would you report someone?

If you knew someone who was cheating the system would you report them

See results

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Work from home ideas and resources

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© 2011 Lisa Auch

Let loose here, tell the Government exactly what you think

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    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 

      6 years ago

      It is not an easy answer. I do think there should be some sort of benefit for looking for a job. I also think there should be benefits so people can live while being retrained. However, there will always be people who's ambition is to work the system. It they do not have self esteem enough to look for work, then you are not going to see them get off the welfare roll without a fight.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It's a two way street really isn't it as there are people out there who are more than happy on the dole and have got little intention of ever going out to work. However there are people out there who are exaustivley seeking work they hear nothing back from ridculously bad mannered and to be honest down right rude potential employers who go on about the unemployed having no morals or manners, don't get me started on that one though! The unemployed are not criminals and to give them community work to me almost decriminalises them and some may say "well if I'm being given community work then I'm being given it for something".

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent lens and blessed. Seeing thousands of people living on benefits and often living better than I am when they could be working but don't want to makes me see red. It makes me livid to see them rioting and causing damage, claiming it's social unrest, when in fact it's just an excuse to cause damage. I would give the rioters stiff penalties. Actually this is one case where I would approve punishment like flogging, or something equally painful as a deterrent.

    • Tiggered profile image


      8 years ago

      Extended holiday funded by the taxpayers??? Excuse me? Isn't a holiday similar in meaning to some sort of enjoyment and indulgence? The rate for the unemployment benefit is rock bottom. It means forget about a new dress, forget about anything good quality and think hard how are you going to pay your bills and fill your fridge, ok? Live like that for a while and then attack the unemployed, ok?

      Sorry I'm getting so worked up, but it feels like suddenly everyone has become a politician or an economist forgetting there are real people behind those figures, not some sort of criminals.

    • simplyoasis profile image


      8 years ago

      I would say there is definitely a welfare generation issue. I have a niece who sounds much like your friends daughter, right down to opening stating that she plans to continue having children to max out the welfare she's already receiving. It's not uncommon here to drive by the welfare office and see nice new cars sitting in the parking lot and I don't mean the employees lot. It's a crying shame, my husband is disabled and has been for more than 20 years yet we don't qualify for anything outside his disability benefits. Why, because he was working and his salary was enough to receive a decent disability check which means we always come in over the allowance allowed. So for 20 years I've had to stay home and care for him and raise our five children on a mere disability allowance ... that might sound fair until you add it up cost of living + five children / $1200 month. I'm not complaining though, it hasn't been easy but I know there's always people out living on less.

    • MSBeltran1 profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have an issue with unemployment benefits-- it's for people out of work, not fired for their own fault, with a work history & having paid taxes, and it's temporary. It's not the same thing as welfare, which really is over-used; we shouldn't be helping anyone not working unless they positively cannot help themselves; people who make bad choice after bad choice, get fired a lot and hardly work should not get compensated.

    • annieangel1 profile image


      8 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      sounds fine except this government is creating more unemployment with its cuts than it is creating in employment opportunities.

      Great lens Lisa

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think people should work and I think the government should help people do that. :)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      You need to add to the first question about employment history. Yes, and for too long. I don't know how it is in the UK or any where else. but in the US, welfare and unemployment benefits are two separate things. Unemployment benefits are for people who had been working and the benefits are calculated with the amount of time put in working.

      Great debate. Being one of the unemployed who's benefits ran out and no job to be found. The majority of us here in the US are hard working people. It is the welfare system that has been taken advantage of the most and needs to be fixed.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good topic, I have to do some thinking before taking some of these polls, so much to be weighed:-) I'm lensrolling to my Are you Unemployed or Employed lens.

    • kerbev profile image

      Kerri Bee 

      8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I have a problem with people who continue to use unemployment seasonally rather than finding employment elsewhere in the off season. If you don't earn enough money at the ski resort, ice cream shop, or local beach to hold you over for the off season, then you need to find another job the rest of the year. I think unemployment should have limits as to how many times it can be used when coming off of the same job.

    • MsSnow4 profile image

      Carol Goss 

      8 years ago

      I like your thoughts.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 

      8 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Why not just make government jobs which are given to any unemployed person who applies to them? Useful jobs like repairing and building communication infrastructure, roads, public buildings, etc? It worked when FDR did it. It is what Obama is trying to do by trying to get states to build track for a bullet train. Why have an unemployed person work a job to get benefits when you could just have them work a job as a job? I bet it's cheaper and a lot easier to just make jobs than it is to administrate giving away money and trying to police it.

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      Really interesting as I saw the difference of culture and respect of others. I'm definitely against that ultra-liberal-capitalist stystem that's sold with anything today and that makes poor people more poor and rich people more rich.

      The system must change. After all, we are the majority and we can change things for good... we just need to be willing to change those things. Sadly, some seem to prefer to think to them only and don't mind those who starve :(

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great topic for debate!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I truly believe the only way any state can make any difference with this problem is by a serious decentralization of this system. Local communities should be equipped with highly educated and socially aware people (services) who would have to have all the powers they need to enforce their rules. Then maybe something good would happen. Maybe.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      8 years ago

      A very hot topic, the thing that angers me is that those that deserve don't get and professional scroungers benefit instead

    • CruiseReady profile image


      8 years ago from East Central Florida

      Unemployment benefits are far too liberal. The time that someone can collect should be shortened. These allowments should be dedigned to help fill the gap in an emergency, not create a permanent source of income.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Really interesting topic and was definitely a hot topic here a few years ago when the Australian government introduced the work for the dole scheme. You never hear about it now, so not sure whether that means that everyone has accepted it or not, I'm not so sure.


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