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View Diary: Why doesn't the plutocrat owned American media report on the European social safety net? (179 comments)

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  •  The Danish system (7+ / 0-)

    I'll try to chip in from Denmark. The systems vary a lot between countries, both in conditions for aid and aid levels.

    I also have to say that I never received housing benefits, so this is only in general terms, and I might have gotten a few details wrong:

    There are two systems, somewhat overlapping. One is for people on wellfare (out of a job and not on unemployment insurance) and one that covers all low income families.

    The latter will cover a proportion of you rent, but to qualify you have to be under a certain income threshold. For singles this is quite low. Additionally the size of appartments you can receive housing support for is capped. I think max room number is the number of adults in the households + 1. I have forgotten how kids are figured into this, but they are in some way. The number of square feet is capped too.

    So is the price of the apartment.

    Basically the message is: If your home is too large or too expensive - downsize. If it is modest enough you can qualify for a benefit that will cover part of your rent. It is also possible to get a loan from the state for the deposit on a new apartment, subject to the same limitations in income, rooms and size.

    You cannot get support for morgage payment, and there is no scheme for foreclosure protection.

    For people on wellfare in principle your total monthly benefit will be regulated to cover your rent in full, also for singles, but the total amount people can receive is capped quite low, so unless you have a really cheap apartment you will end up having to cut the difference out of what you get for everything else.

    For home owners on welfare they can get the same amount paid out - but as a loan. On welfare you have to spend whatever assets you have before being able to receive benefits, and you will be expected to eat the value of your home first. So you won't have to sell (if you can manage the morgage on your very modest welfare level), but will end up with a debt to the state that has to be paid either when you are back in a job or when you sell the house. As a side note the authorities here have the right to withdraw the money from your salary if you have debt to the state.

    So in all the system is not very generous and there is an annoying amount of micromanagement and control, but still a hundred dollars or two extra a month are very feelable for people on low incomes.

    •  Please recommend Niels comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is great information. Do you realize that homeowners in America are unable to get any welfare whatsoever. They are forced to sell their homes and spend down their assets, but the major news flash here, is that single people can get for a modest apartment their rent paid, they don't have to wind up homeless if they cannot get a job. Whereas in America they want you to be drafted forcibly into what we Americans euphemistically call a "shit job."

      This provides a low wage, no paid sick leave, no paid annual leave, no paid maternity leave, it provides NO medical benefits, NO dental benefits. It is either that or live on the street. Amazingly some homeless people work these jobs full time and still can't get off the streets. In fact there are lots of working homeless people in America. It's America's dirty little secret!

      This type of thing in the EU would be illegal. It happens in America because they want to use this painful, draconian stick to force people to take no benefits, non-living wage "Shit Jobs." In plain English that is the unvarnished truth.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 12:19:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  @ 60 years old, I've been working since I was 14 (0+ / 0-)

        ...and have never had a job that offered dental benefits, or vision benefits.  At this point, I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on my teeth (and my eyes, including 3 surgeries) - and while I can see okay (so far), I now have no teeth, and can only eat food that requires NO chewing (mashed potatoes and yogurt, anyone?).  All that money, all that pain, for nothing!

        I had to give up my (functionally useless) medical insurance 10 years ago when the cost of it exceeded my mortgage payment.

        ANYTHING would be an improvement over the American "system"....


        by chmood on Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 08:08:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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