Unemployment benefits differ from welfare payments in two important aspects. The qualification requirements for the two programs and the source of funds that are paid to eligible individuals are different. However, both programs are administered by state governmental bodies and can help in times of need.
The government provides temporary cash assistance to people on welfare. The source of the funds is the government's coffers. Because the government's funding comes from taxpayers, welfare payments are funded by the taxpaying public and corporations. Unemployment benefits, on the other hand, are paid out of a fund into which your former employer contributed when you were working. The source of unemployment benefits is your prior employer's contributions to that fund.
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To qualify for welfare payments, your income and assets must fall below the thresholds specified by state regulators. To receive unemployment benefits, you must have worked for a specific minimum period to ensure your employer has paid a sufficient amount into the state unemployment fund.