Unemployment Benefits

money from unemployment benefits
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on March 16, 2023 and last updated on May 14, 2023

Engaging in discussions about unemployment benefits can be a good topic for advanced English learners for a few reasons.

Firstly, it’s a relevant and current topic that affects many people, making it a great opportunity to discuss real-world issues and build vocabulary related to employment, social welfare and government policies.

Secondly, the topic allows for discussions of complex legal and economic concepts, providing learners with a chance to practice their critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Additionally, talking about unemployment benefits involves exploring different perspectives and opinions, which can help learners develop their ability to express themselves and engage in meaningful discourse.

What is Unemployment Benefit?

Unemployment benefits are a type of government-provided financial support intended to assist individuals who are temporarily out of work and seeking employment. These benefits are designed to provide a safety net for people who have lost their jobs due to reasons beyond their control, such as business closures, layoffs or redundancies.

The specific eligibility criteria and benefit amounts vary by country and region, but in general, individuals who have lost their jobs and meet certain requirements such as previous employment history and duration of unemployment may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits for a limited period of time.

Receiving unemployment benefits can be a crucial support system for individuals and families experiencing financial hardship during periods of unemployment. However, there is often debate surrounding the impact of unemployment benefits on the economy, job market and individuals’ work incentives.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • redundancy (noun)
  • claim (verb)
  • unemployment rate (phrase)
  • benefit (noun)
  • make ends meet (idiom)
  • job market (phrase)

Questions About Unemployment Benefits

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  • Have you or someone you know ever claimed unemployment benefits? What was the experience like?
  • Do you think unemployment benefits provide a safety net for people who are temporarily without work, or do they discourage people from finding a job?
  • How do you think governments can balance the need to provide support to people who are unemployed with the need to incentivize work and economic growth?
  • What unemployment benefits are people entitled to in your country? Do you agree with them?
  • What role do you think education and job training play in reducing unemployment rates and helping people find work?
  • Do you think the government should provide financial incentives for companies to hire unemployed individuals?
  • Should unemployment benefits be tied to a requirement to participate in job training or community service?
  • How does unemployment affect people's mental health and wellbeing? What can be done to support individuals who are struggling with unemployment?
  • Should unemployment benefits be provided to individuals who voluntarily quit their jobs? What about those who are fired?
  • How do you think automation and technological advancements will affect the job market and unemployment rates in the future?
  • In your opinion, what are some common misconceptions people have about unemployment benefits and people who claim them?
  • Do you think there should be different levels of support for people based on their level of education or work experience?
  • D you think unemployment benefits should be scaled based on the length of time someone has been unemployed?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.