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Unemployment Benefits – Bane or Boon?
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The recession and the resultant unemployment had made the country’s government feel that it was their moral duty to provide financial assistance to millions of Americans, who had lost their jobs. It was felt that the unemployment benefits that would be given to them, would not only help put food on their tables, but also help them get back on their feet.

Even though there are stringent rules for being eligible for unemployment benefits, the government to their cost has been finding out that it is being abused. Far from being “decent and effective” as President Obama had so historically proclaimed, when he turned the proposal into law, it has increased the number of unemployed, who are leaving no stone unturned to manipulate and maneuver the rule books, to stay that way – the weekly dole has given them an incentive to stay unemployed.

The government’s generosity, has led to a generation of bums and freeloaders. Their working sensibilities have become dulled and no one wants to hire them again. For them, unemployment has become unemployability.


Moreover, one person receiving unemployment benefits said, that his State was giving him more money not to work than his former employer was paying him to work.

If the aim of the unemployment benefits was to help families survive periods of enforced or unplanned employment, it is obviously not working, for, many jobless are trying to gain government benefits by declaring themselves unhealthy and hence get benefits on health grounds. Most claim, that living without working and taking welfare checks from the government was a compromise on their dignity and a social stigma that led to depression and other mental problems.

Mental health is the most familiar grounds for claiming health-related benefits. Of the 42% people of the 2.6 million unemployed Americans getting employment benefits, who have claimed to have mental health-related problems, only a small percentage have problems that are serious enough to prevent them from going back to their workplace.

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Detractors of employment benefit schemes say that the people have become indolent and lazy and using excuses to   continue getting benefits, whereas almost half the mentally ill who want to work could be working, under the right conditions.

Advocates of the scheme argue that unemployment correlates with mental illness and that the effect of unemployment on a person’s happiness and well being is underestimated and that it is directly related to unemployment.

Unemployment reduces their chances of recovery, and their state of mind reduces their chances of getting employed again:  it’s a vicious cycle – easy to get into, but hard to get out of.


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