welfare

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be on welfare

To be receiving assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to be on welfare these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on welfare for extended periods of time.
See also: on, welfare

go on welfare

To begin receiving assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on welfare these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have gone on welfare for extended periods of time.
See also: on, welfare

on welfare

In receipt of assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on welfare these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on welfare for extended periods of time.
See also: on, welfare

corporate welfare bum

A corporation or executive who makes money (or is thought to make money) through tax breaks or legal loopholes. Primarily heard in Canada. These corporate welfare bums can afford to pay the taxes, but they just get their accountants to make it so they don't have to.
See also: bum, corporate, welfare

welfare Cadillac

Used to describe a person or group who receives government financial aid (perhaps fraudulently) and buys expensive, ostentatious things. As a someone who is struggling financially without the help of the government, I find those welfare Cadillacs infuriating.
See also: Cadillac, welfare

on relief

Also, on welfare; on the dole. Receiving public financial assistance, as in Half the people in this town are on relief, or Don hated the idea of going on welfare. The first two terms originated in the United States in the 1930s, when government assistance of this kind was first instituted. On the dole, used mainly in Britain but occasionally in America, dates from the 1920s, although the use of dole for a charitable gift dates from about 1200.
See also: on, relief

on relief

Receiving public assistance because of need or poverty.
See also: on, relief

on welfare

Receiving regular assistance from the government or private agencies because of need.
See also: on, welfare