Is There A Stigma Against Claiming Benefits?

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Is There A Stigma Against Claiming Benefits?

Errant Venture Errant Venture
So things have been going pretty badly for me lately. As such, I applied for Job Seeker's Allowance, and just came back from my interview. As I was doing this, I kept on thinking to myself that it felt wrong to claim. Indeed, even as I was collecting the necessary documents, I'd rebuff my family's questions and not tell them what I needed them for (often making up desperate and hilariously bad excuses for why I'd need them). For my part, I do think I'm being old fashioned, but even understanding this, I don't think I could claim for long. Anyway, it got me thinking - why do I have this stigma against claiming benefits? Is it a societal thing? Personal thing?

So my questions are: Do you personally have a stigma against claiming benefits (or the nearest form of such in your country)? Do you think society looks down upon benefit claiming, and claimants, or is it acceptable (or becoming acceptable)? If so, why do you think this is?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
There Is A Stigma Against It
10  (23%)
There Is Not
I Find It Wholly Acceptable To Claim Benefits
33  (77%)
I Do Not Find It Acceptable To Claim Benefits
Other
Total votes: 43
Poll is closed
07/31/2012
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wetone123 wetone123
I think everyone has needed help at least once in their lives. Please do not feel badly about it. I'm positive you will back on top in no time and will pass your help on to another in need when you can. I have confidence in you.
07/31/2012
unfulfilled unfulfilled
I find it acceptable to claim benefits if you need it. I don't like when people take advantage of the system when there are others that really need the benefits aren't getting any, but we all have our bad times. While I was pregnant with both my boys I was on WIC and the boys are on state insurance. We have to pay a deductible for any of their medical visits, but the state helps cover the costs. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to afford health insurance for the kids. This helped pay for their stay at the hospital when they were born, and the well-baby visits.
07/31/2012
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
There is nothing wrong with claiming benefits when needed. For the most part everyone will need some kind of help during there life, it may be just a helping hand from family/friends or, like a whole lot of folks nowadays, help from the local state or federal government. The problem is when folks take advantage of the system and do not try to get of said assistance.
07/31/2012
Ansley Ansley
If you need it, you need it. People who don't claim benefits when they need them, in the end usually wind up being a much larger burden on societies when it comes to being bankrupt, having outstanding debt and those kinds of things.

The stigma comes when people who don't need it, refuse to better themselves and continue to stay on them.
07/31/2012
GenderSexplorations GenderSexplorations
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
If you need it, you need it. People who don't claim benefits when they need them, in the end usually wind up being a much larger burden on societies when it comes to being bankrupt, having outstanding debt and those kinds of things.

The ...
I wholeheartedly agree with this. If you need it, you need it. When you don't need it anymore, you go off it. But so long as you need it, it's no big deal.
07/31/2012
Yaoi Pervette (deleted) Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
I don't see anything wrong with someone claiming benefits if they are really needed. I think it is the abuse of the system that upsets most people. A few bad apples cheating the government ruin it for the rest of the honest bunch.
07/31/2012
Stinkytofu10 Stinkytofu10
Quote:
Originally posted by Errant Venture
So things have been going pretty badly for me lately. As such, I applied for Job Seeker's Allowance, and just came back from my interview. As I was doing this, I kept on thinking to myself that it felt wrong to claim. Indeed, even as I was ...
If you need it, you need it. I don't think it matters what others say.
07/31/2012
js250 js250
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
If you need it, you need it. People who don't claim benefits when they need them, in the end usually wind up being a much larger burden on societies when it comes to being bankrupt, having outstanding debt and those kinds of things.

The ...
Well said!! I was trying to word my response but you nailed it!!!
07/31/2012
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
I feel there is very much a stigma against claiming benefits but I myself find it acceptable to do so when you're in need. That's what they're there for. I don't believe that most people who claim benefits are lazy or "mooching off the government" but that seems to be the general consensus in society.
07/31/2012
ChickenFeathers ChickenFeathers
I think it stems from the pride of the family and what they deem acceptable. In mine, if you can work, you try your hardest to or to find a job. Comes from the depression era, I think.
07/31/2012
shannyshann shannyshann
There is nothing wrong with needing help. Just as long as it isn't for the wrong purposes such as you don't want to do anything for yourself so you're lazy and just claim benefits. I applied for food stamps (because right now they would help A LOT) and I haven't even sent the form back because I just don't feel right about it.
07/31/2012
Nirelan Nirelan
I work and STILL need help and qualify for assistance......I see nothing wrong with it as long as you're trying
07/31/2012
Nirelan Nirelan
Quote:
Originally posted by Lildrummrgurl7
I feel there is very much a stigma against claiming benefits but I myself find it acceptable to do so when you're in need. That's what they're there for. I don't believe that most people who claim benefits are lazy or "mooching ...
I agree....
07/31/2012
G&L G&L
I'm conflicted about it.
07/31/2012
kitty1949 kitty1949
If you need it, you need it.
08/01/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Quote:
Originally posted by wetone123
I think everyone has needed help at least once in their lives. Please do not feel badly about it. I'm positive you will back on top in no time and will pass your help on to another in need when you can. I have confidence in you.
Thank you very much, wetone .
08/01/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Some very interesting answers, thank you all. I've had a chance to ask some of my friends, and they also feel opposed to the concept of claiming benefits. I'm unsure if this is a viewpoint they - and I - have picked up through familial relations, or if this is indicative of the local community as a whole. It could be, as was said above, pride. Perhaps too proud to admit that you need help?
08/01/2012
WildeKnight WildeKnight
Wife refuses to collect disability even though she is eligible. I don't have anything against it.
08/01/2012
Incendiaire Incendiaire
You have to think about it this way, when you're employed you pay National Insurance contributions as well as your income tax.

The key word there is "insurance", because that's what the benefits system is really intended to be. You pay compulsory insurance payments to the government while you're in work, and then when you're unemployed you're entitled to get that money back to support yourself.

The truth is though that there is a stigma against claiming benefits, and I don't blame you for being embarrassed. It's all down to the fact there are groups of people who have never worked a day in their lives, and shamelessly leech off the government. These people have corrupted and tainted what was intended be a noble system, and now the general consensus is that anyone on benefits must be a scrounger, therefore genuine hard-working people in need of that money, such as yourself, don't want to claim what they're entitled to for fear of being lumped in with that disreputable group.
08/01/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Errant Venture
Some very interesting answers, thank you all. I've had a chance to ask some of my friends, and they also feel opposed to the concept of claiming benefits. I'm unsure if this is a viewpoint they - and I - have picked up through familial ...
I have had to draw unemployment in the past. I think it's a testament to your character that you are putting forth efforts and your uncomfortable outlook on the situation only solidifies that.

Even if you are drawing benefits, that is no one's business but your own. You don't have to share that information with anyone. If someone asks you how you're getting by, just say "I'm making it work". If they press tell them it's really none of their business and if you need additional information or resources from them specifically, you will ask.

It's extremely uncomfortable to be unemployed. Everyone is always "well just get a job". This brilliance is usually muttered by someone who hasn't had to look for a job in over a decade and has no clue about the reality of the world right now.

Letting yourself sink into a debt trap isn't the solution, either. Keep up your efforts of looking for a new place to work and do as much as you can to get your name out there. The universe will repay you in kind.

If you need any help with your CV or interview techniques, just let me know. I'll be happy to help you. My success rate is pretty good.
08/01/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by GenderSexplorations
I wholeheartedly agree with this. If you need it, you need it. When you don't need it anymore, you go off it. But so long as you need it, it's no big deal.
Exactly. At least, in the States the company you work for is responsible for the unemployment insurance portion of the tax bill and it only affects them if you file for unemployment. This was introduced and made into law in an effort to dissuade companies from mass layoffs. Basically, it was a way to make people feel better about at-will employment states. (Which most are.)
08/01/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
Well said!! I was trying to word my response but you nailed it!!!
Thank you!
08/01/2012
edeneve edeneve
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
If you need it, you need it. People who don't claim benefits when they need them, in the end usually wind up being a much larger burden on societies when it comes to being bankrupt, having outstanding debt and those kinds of things.

The ...
well stated Stormy
08/01/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by edeneve
well stated Stormy
Thank you, again. Just been there done that. Had people make me feel like utter crap about it and decided I had no shame in my game because I am a good worker with a strong work ethic.

I know that, particularly in England, the rules of the game are quite a bit different and people can skirt the line for years and never be fired. But, if you show some initiative and take your A-game in with you everyday it challenges others and you'll be the first to be let go. It's stupid.
08/01/2012
gsfanatic gsfanatic
I feel like it's understandable, since bad things happen to everyone. Hopefully you can get back on your feet soon. I dislike people who abuse the system and don't try to improve themselves with work. People are afraid of someone else getting something for nothing, so they make people who claim the benefits when they need them (vast majority) guilty
08/01/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I have had to draw unemployment in the past. I think it's a testament to your character that you are putting forth efforts and your uncomfortable outlook on the situation only solidifies that.

Even if you are drawing benefits, that is no ...
I could always do with some interview tips (I think I'm okay with my CV. I just really need to remember to update it whenever I get an article or story published), please . And thank you very much. It's certainly a relief to hear this. And I feel like my brain explodes whenever someone utters 'well just get a job', or something along those lines!
08/03/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Quote:
Originally posted by gsfanatic
I feel like it's understandable, since bad things happen to everyone. Hopefully you can get back on your feet soon. I dislike people who abuse the system and don't try to improve themselves with work. People are afraid of someone else getting ...
Thank you . And that's an interesting observation.
08/03/2012
Allstars316 Allstars316
Nope. If you need it. Then you should have it.
09/29/2012
subwayrailings subwayrailings
i do find it acceptable, but there definitely is a stigma. i dont understand it.
09/30/2012
Total posts: 30
Unique posters: 21