be on welfare

(redirected from were on welfare)

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Why is this going to work fiscally, when we're going to pay more to people to do the job than we were paying when they were on welfare? The answer is two-fold: One, a whole bunch of people aren't going to show up to take these jobs, because there's a massive underground economy out there.