Benefits is a broad term that can refer to any type of state or governmental financial aid or insurance program, which financially helps those who meet a certain criteria, such as military veterans, or those struggling during unemployment. The main purpose of benefits is to help those who are in bad financial situations or who do not have insurance following a debilitating injury, for example. In the United States alone, there are over 1,000 different benefit programs that assist people for a very broad spectrum of needs, from supporting children to finding temporary housing for the homeless. Some benefits programs make regular loan free payments to the beneficiaries, whilst other programs give money in the form of low interest loans. Work related insurance schemes and bonuses are also often considered benefits.
The following list gives a rough overview of the various benefits available, although each has its own sub-categories and requirements before the benefit can be obtained:
Career Development – to help cover costs for training and new skills to progress in the workplace.
Child Support – to help cover the upbringing of a child.
Counseling – giving legal aid, advice and help in a range of situations.
Disability Allowance – to cover loss of income and part time caring costs.
Disaster Relief – helping those who are victims to natural disasters.
Education – grants and loans to pay for education.
Energy Assistance - helping to cover energy bills. (Common with the elderly).
Food – providing food stamps to the poverty stricken or homeless, and aiding costs of school meals etc.
Healthcare – providing medical care for those without insurance.
Housing – assisting people who cannot afford conventional housing.
Insurance – help in various situations, such as unemployment or medical issues, or to help medically uninsured children.
Living Assistance – funding people with disabilities, victims of abuse, homeless with children etc.
Loan Assistance – funding and advice for repayment of outstanding loans.
Common benefits include unemployment for those struggling between jobs, Social Security, Medicare and benefits for veterans.