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Unemployment benefits are payments made by the state or other authorized bodies to unemployed people. Benefits may be based on a compulsory para-governmental insurance system. Depending on the jurisdiction and the status of the person, those sums may be small, covering only basic needs (thus a form of basic welfare), or may compensate the lost time proportionally to the previous earned salary. They often are part of a larger social security scheme.
Unemployment benefits are generally given only to those registering as unemployed, and often on conditions ensuring that they seek work and do not currently have a job.
In some countries, a significant proportion of unemployment benefits are distributed by trade/labor unions, an arrangement known as the Ghent system.