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.