How Europe's "Benefits" Stack Up To The US Entitlement Society

Tyler Durden's picture

With an increasing focus in America on the ever growing entitlement society, we thought it might be useful to get some context of how the welfare states stack up across Europe. As Britain prepares to "test" immigrants in an effort to stymie "benefit tourists", The Telegraph's Ed Malnick, details what health care and child, unemployment and housing benefit a 30-year-old single EU migrant with a child but no job can access in each member state.


Via The Telegraph,


Health care Available immediately, but only if you pay “social insurance”

Child benefit Immediate payment of £89 per month

Unemployment benefit Only available to people who have paid social insurance

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Available after a year

Child benefit £115 a month, available immediately

Unemployment benefit Have to have previously worked in Belgium

Housing benefit No national scheme; amounts vary regionally.



Health care Free emergency care immediately; other treatments only available if you pay social insurance

Child benefit Targeted schemes restricted to Bulgarian citizens

Unemployment benefit Minimum of nine months of working in the country required to qualify

Housing benefit Immediate monthly allowance buzt only if you have a local authority home already



Health care Free, available immediately

Child benefit Immediate yearly payment of £444

Unemployment benefit Six months of work in Cyprus required to qualify

Housing benefit Immediately available, limited to £506 a month



Health care Available immediately but cash charges apply

Child benefit £23 a month available immediately

Unemployment benefit 12-month minimum qualifying period

Housing benefit Available immediately



Health care Free, available immediately

Child benefit Up to £161 a month available after 12 months

Unemployment benefit Minimum of one year’s work required to qualify

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Available immediately but cash payments required for some treatments

Child benefit £16 per month available immediately

Unemployment benefit £12.50 per week available immediately

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Public health service charging flat-rate fees. Available immediately

Child benefit £88 per month available immediately

Unemployment benefit Basic weekly unemployment allowance available after two months

Housing benefit Up to 80 per cent of housing costs available immediately but system varies regionally



Health care Only available with a card proving entitlement, issued to residents

Child benefit Immediate payment, but only for parents with more than one child

Unemployment benefit Four-month qualifying period

Housing benefit Immediate; scheme based on house size and local factors



Health care Only available with a health insurance card

Child benefit £155 per month available immediately

Unemployment benefit Immediate means-tested allowance for jobseekers who have made "intensive efforts" to find work

Housing benefit Full amount of housing costs available immediately



Health care 100 days of work required to qualify

Child benefit No equivalent scheme

Unemployment benefit Minimum of six months of work required to qualify

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Not immediately available

Child benefit £40.60 per month available immediately

Unemployment benefit Minimum qualifying period of 360 days

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Free after living in Ireland for three consecutive years, but free immediately to UK citizens

Child benefit £110 per month available immediately

Unemployment benefit £160 per week available immediately

Housing benefit Immediate rent supplement providing short-term support



Health care Free, available immediately

Child benefit No equivalent scheme

Unemployment benefit Qualifying period of three months

Housing benefit No national scheme; varies according to region



Health care Public health service with fees for GP and hospital visits, available immediately

Child benefit Immediate monthly payment of £9.30

Unemployment benefit One-year qualifying period

Housing benefit Varies locally



Health care Three months qualifying period but “urgent care” free immediately

Child benefit Immediate monthly payment of £24

Unemployment benefit 18-month qualifying period

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Not available immediately, as insurance-based

Child benefit £157.10 per month available immediately

Unemployment benefit Minimum of six months of work required to qualify

Housing benefit Immediate rent allowance of up to £104.90



Health care Free, available immediately

Child benefit Immediate payment; up to £81.55 a month

Unemployment benefit Immediate means-tested benefit of up to £16 per day

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Free, available immediately

Child benefit Immediate payment of up to £54 per month

Unemployment benefit Qualifying period of one year

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Free, available immediately

Child benefit Monthly payment of up to £40

Unemployment benefit Qualifying period of 180 days

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care six-month qualifying period, except for emergencies

Child benefit monthly payment of up to £20

Unemployment benefit minimum qualifying period of 12 months

Housing benefit no equivalent scheme



Health care immediately available; nominal cash payment for treatments

Child benefit immediate monthly payment of £19

Unemployment benefit minimum two-year qualifying period

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Available immediately but required to pay minimum of 10 per cent of some treatment costs

Child benefit Immediate payment of up to £97 per month

Unemployment benefit Minimum contribution of nine months

Housing benefit Only available if you already have social housing



Health care Only available with a card proving entitlement

Child benefit Immediate payment of up to £20 per month

Unemployment benefit Immediate payment available based on a variable proportion of average wages

Housing benefit No equivalent scheme



Health care Available immediately; basic fees for care

Child benefit Immediate monthly payment of £101

Unemployment benefit Six-month qualifying period

Housing benefit Immediate monthly allowance of up to £125



Health care only available with a certificate proving entitlement

Child benefit Immediate payment of £943 per year

Unemployment benefit Six-month qualifying period

Housing benefit Means tested, available immediately



Health care Available immediately and free of charge under the National Health Service

Child benefit Paid immediately if the child is under 16, or 16 to 19 and in education or training, and the claimant has an individual income of less than £50,000. Amount is £20.30 a week for the eldest or only child, £13.40 per additional child

Unemployment benefit Immediate payment of £71.70 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) after proving you are actively seeking work. EU migrants have to pass the “right-to-reside” test to show they are “economically active”. The European Commission wants to abolish this test. There is also contribution-based additional JSA which is only available after working for at least two years.

Housing benefit Available immediately if you are on a low income, whether you are working or unemployed.

How much depends on individual circumstances, but amount cannot normally exceed £250 per week for a one-bedroom property, or up to £400 a week for four bedrooms or more

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booboo's picture

Again.......The cheese in the mouse trap is not "Free"

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Just look at everybody voting for a living.

kaiserhoff's picture

Why the hell should immigrants EVER get fucking welfare????
The elephant in the room, which ZH increasingly ignores, is that in Europe everyone in need qualifies for relatively generous welfare.  In Americka, one has to be of the right "ethnicity", then all things are granted forever and on to endless generations.

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

Listen, it's not immigration if you are all part of the same union.

If I were the overlord in charge of the US I would think long and hard about the fact that the US needs to be brought to it's knees so that it will be thankful when it's invited to be a part of the EU creating a new organization called the NWO.

Only then will we have real everlasting peas.

Pure Evil's picture

Obama said you needed to eat your peas, or was it the Wookie?

Ghordius's picture

keiserhoff has it only in part right with his "The elephant in the room, which ZH increasingly ignores, is that in Europe everyone in need qualifies for relatively generous welfare"

this little list shows different schemes, with the British being one that is an outlier (and British politics being the most unwilling to adapt theirs to the new EU facts - preferring to scare their electors with the imagery of millions of rent-seeking immigrants, of course with the Telegraph on the lead)

having said that, look at the list, compare the price tags, and you'll see that universal health care schemes are not what makes budgets groan

yet yes, the keyword is "in need" - coupled with systems that work. (perhaps the fact that we have more socialists here means also that our "socialist" schemes work better? yet they are usually simpler. there is some smarts in "simple")

edit: note the UK "housing benefits"

meanwhile the "tenor" of the article is about how europe is creating "ideas" which challenge the way "it used to be at home". we are not doing it for you, we are doing it for us

how could we ever invite you? look how hard the UK is suffering in a confederation where it's not allowed to lead, only to be a peer

being part of the EU requires a certain amount of national humility (and adaptability). the same stuff Bush II once talked about. Germany and France are at it's core because they learned two lessons, WWI and WWII

Non Passaran's picture

Ultimately they'll turn into citizens and vote... Democrat.

Hobbleknee's picture


How much money would Europe have left over for "free" crap if they had to maintain a real military defense, instead of relying on American defense?

Ghordius's picture

another question: was that defense fully optional? or, to put it in a different way, did someone force Uncle Sam to build the biggest "defence force" the world has ever seen?

it all goes back to the Soviet Union, remember? and lots of history which is not part of the American awareness, for example when France and the UK were landing in Egypt to get back the nationalized Suez Channel and America whistled them back, 'cause Israel did not like the idea

our keynesians and our industrialists would love the idea of building half a dozen or a full dozen supercarrier, btw. yet this would mean that some spheres of influences would have to be partitioned differently

you sound as if the US was providing a free service. how about remembering why the world buys and keeps the dollar? how about remembering how US companies have exceptionally privileged access to the whole world?

FlowerofLife's picture

Ghordius, you are an enlightened being.



Mediocritas's picture

America is spending bucketloads to maintain military offense, not defense. It's the only reason the USD is still the world's primary currency.

Europe would actually be quite pleased if the US packed up and went home because it would give Europe a bigger slice of the pie.

Hobbleknee's picture

Actually, when the US suggests leaving Germany, it's considered a threat.  Germany doesn't want them to leave.

j8h9's picture

So where is the comparison to US?  Healthcare = $0 in US.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Healthcare, health insurance, and emergency care are all different things.  In the US, anyone can walk into a hospital with an injury, pregnancy, or severe illness, and the hospital MUST treat them, regardless of their ability to pay, even without an ID. Medicaid is available to the poor, at no charge, and Medicare is available to the old, with a small deductible and 80/20 coinsurance.

spooz's picture

You may be treated for an emergency, but don't look for knee surgery or chemotherapy.  Only those lucky enough to score benefits get that.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



The poor, old, disabled, and veterans all get free, or nearly free, knee surgery and chemotherapy under Medicare, Medicaid, and VA.

Anyone injured on the job in the USA gets all medical treatment paid, and pay for lost time, through worker's compensatioin, as well as compensation for permanent impairment.

spooz's picture

The "poor", including Walmart workers, who do not have children only get Medicaid if they are lucky enough to live in a state that took the Medicaid expansion.  That comes to about 5.2 million citizens slipping through the cracks

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Yes, working people should pay for things in life such as food, shelter, transportation, water, energy, healthcare, and education.  Furthermore, the quality and price of the products and services should vary.  A lazy and uneducated person that has made poor choices should not be given the same products and services as a hard working person that has made good choices.

All animals are NOT equal, comrade.  However, in America, all animals were supposed to have equal protection under the law.  Taking from one animal to give to another animal is a violation of this equal protection.

Pure Evil's picture

Unless of course the intent is to make everyone equally poor.

Exemptions to our congressional leaders and the 1%.

Viva la Cuba, Viva la Revolution.

spooz's picture

Our corporate masters find there are too many labor units (or "animals" as you refer to them) and have figured out that they don't need to offer benefits or living wages anymore.  Plenty of college graduates are unable to find good jobs, plenty of hard working people are working six or more shifts at part time jobs to get by.  You are a clueless idiot, a tool of the fascists that own our legislature.

trader1's picture

hedgeless, i used to respect your postings, but you're a delusional libertarian.


hedgeless_horseman's picture



Yes.  Thank you.

So, you prefer conforming statists?

trader1's picture

no, i actually prefer libertarians who acknowledge that their ideals should be kept as a dream and realize that the current system of big gov/big corps is not going away (barring an apocalypse).  if you're serious about doing what you can to prevent that trend from going too far, then i think libertarians stand better chances by challenging the current system from a stronger base of power (i.e., via infiltrating the leading party or via coalition of multiple minority parties) rather than as a fringe minority.  <and distance yourself from the tea party ffs>.  

if you want any chance of beating sociopaths, then you'll have to play by their rules. you'll need to sacrifice some of your principles on the free market (because again it's a dream).  this means being more of a humanitarian, such as supporting universal healthcare.  it also means smarter regulation of markets, encouraging sustainable energy policies, and reducing MIC spend.  in the united states, you're not going to achieve any of that as a republican nor as the current libertarian party.  in light of current events and demographics, the dems have a lock on the system from 2014 - 2018 (barring some apocalypse scenario).  either join them or provide a realistic alternative to the status quo.  

as much as i'd like to see a viable 3rd party alternative in the states, the challenge will be to somehow amalgamate the current libertarians, greens, independents, reformists, and all these people under a common bucket. because the gop is fucked over the long-term, such a hybrid 3rd-party would actually attract republican defectors.  maybe, you'll even beat the "statists" someday ;-)


Dr. Destructo's picture


People who made the wrong choice of being born in gen x/y, or the choice not to be born in an affluent family, who got degrees in an industry that is being outsourced more than others, and didn't have an heirloom crystal ball that predicted market trends with 1,000% accuracy, which also vibrates, glows red, plus emits an alarm whenever Wall Street and their government puppets fuck over the American people and people all over the globe they could of been successful.

I also agree that prices and services should be separated by class. The beautiful people such as you and I deserve to have the best roads paved with the finest gold in all the land by the mightiest of immigrants. We should have water that comes from the purest spring from the highest mountain, and sewer systems that lead directly to the untouchables so that our wealth will trickle down to the unworthy (I enjoy golden ice cream so this can be taken quite literally).

The poor may utilize the goat paths on my vast tracts of land, but they must keep a distance of 1,000 leagues from me and my equals whenever we take our diamond encrusted stallions out to hunt for illegal immigrants. 

Jobs will be provided when the commoners learn to abandon their foolish notion that they are entitled to decent wages and healthcare. 

In time people will learn that our ways are best, and to keep them in line we will create a lottery and instill the mythology that with enough hard work you will be successful. Arbeit Macht Frei shall be the motto. Our freedom is unparalleled, and our philanthropy a beacon to the destitute world that surrounds us. Because of this ethos we are superior to the slackers in Europe in everything, especially education.

Keep up the good fight good sir.

kaiserhoff's picture

You can have my share of chemotherapy, and most of the rest of corporate pill pushing, thank you very much.

Stuck on Zero's picture

It's the cost of healthcare in the U.S. that is totally absurd.  $5500 for a 24 hour visit for observation after an accident.


hedgeless_horseman's picture



I don't believe that the CPT code for a 24 hour observation stay reimburses $5500 anywhere in the USA.  Maybe if you add add some labs, EKGs, CT or MRI studies, in an ICU/CCU, then you might get close.

NidStyles's picture

I spent 1 week in the hospital back in 2009. The total cost for the whole stay was only $2200. The most expensive thing were the anti-biotics.

spooz's picture

details, please.  Doesn't sound like you spent a week in a US hospital unless you are talking about what your COPAY cost you.

artless's picture

I down voted you because you do noit have a grasp of economics.

Cost is cost. What you are talking about is PRICE. The problem is the medical industry is a highly cartelized, subsidized, regulated, and out right fraudulent system flooded with "funny money" (50% of ALL medical spending is Federal money) that in turm as always in economics RAISES prices. Look at any other industry and you will find that lower, more approachable pricing will be paired with lower regs, more competition, and less "bad money". Hence food is "affordable" and we don't have The Affordable Food Act.

But even there we see prices kept artifically high due to market interventions and distortions.

Plus who the fuck is so stupid that they actually PAY $5500 for "observation". I paid that sum for a 4+ hour surgery but I got a reconstructed jaw with titanium screws for that.

Would you pay $5500 for a smart phone? Dinner for two? A studio apartment in NYC? Or for that matter FIVE shares of Google?

Then you're a fucking moron or a jusst a fool who will soon be separated from his money.


Landrew's picture

YOU don't know what the FUCK you are talking about! YOU are so fucking wrong! The first thing that happens INSURANCE FORM filled out! No insurance you are shipped to a county clinic where you leave before you die. Fucking clueless COCK BROTHER TROLL! Try walking in and getting treated fuckhole just try it once I dare you! Yeah, your brothers uncles sisters aunt's neighbor's second cousin told that! 

NidStyles's picture

Actually the federal law mandates that all emergencies must be treated. No matter if they have the money or not.

Oleander's picture

Must fucking depend on where you fucking fuck because all hospitals here have signs clearly stating you will be fucking treated


of your fucking ability to fucking pay. Go the fuck back under your fucking bridge fucking troll. Fuck!



nmewn's picture

And the individual tax rates are?....

kaiserhoff's picture


   because in the socialist workers' paradise, the government disposes of all of your income.

nmewn's picture

Its almost as if, all these wonderful things are actually...freeeeee!!! ;-)

WOAR's picture

And the VAT rates are?...

And the price of gas is?...

So many questions, and no one wants to ask them.

Non Passaran's picture

Go to Wikipedia for fucks sake.

firestarter_916's picture

If you do the math and research we actually pay more than most countries. And we have a hell of a lot less to show for it.  I'm tired of the narrow mind naïve perception Americans have of the VAT tax.  If they'd add up their state/local, federal income taxes, sales tax, property tax, tobacco tax, death tax, capital gains tax, dividend tax, utility tax, gas tax, personal property tax, etc etc they might just get it.

Disenchanted's picture

You forgot the FICA taxes, which your employer also matches.

But that rains on the 'Down with Entitlements' parade doesn't it?

firestarter_916's picture

You're clueless, take off the red white and blue lenses.

BurningFuld's picture

Hard to compare to the US when it is not on the list. I have no idea what the entitlements in the US are.

Ghordius's picture

the scope of that article is how the British system is compared to the rest of the EU. all inside an argument from the right - including the Telegraph - that people are coming to the British Isles because the entitlements are gorgeous

spooz's picture

Its nice to know where your taxes are going.  Everybody else decided spending them on health care instead of defense was a good idea.  Every time they see the doctor, they can see their tax dollars at work.

nmewn's picture

Great having American boy's on europeon bases so they can afford to do that...huh?

Diogenes's picture

America - military and welfare

Everybody else - medical care and education.

How's that working out for you?

artless's picture

Admittedly not well. But I would take a look at the actual numbers of what is spent per capita on medical and education by The Feds here in the US before you try this sort of tired meme.

And after you find that we blow government cash at a pretty alarming rate PER CAPITA educating the kiddies and providing sick care in addition to arming and occupying defending half or more of the world while handing out even more cash to shit holes in Europe, Asia, Africa, and god knows where else (Mars will be soon receiving foreign aide at this rate) along with over half of our own poulation here in the US otherwise known as The Free Shit Army, and then you get a picture of just why things are the way they are.

The after that go take a look at the books in every psuedo-socialist nation to which you refer as "everyone else" and see that not only are they dead fuvking broke as well but suffer the very same socio-economic problems of 'Murica with some places even worse. Spain, Protigal, Greece, France, England, Japan... the list is pretty long. Several other so-called "compassionate" countries are staring at debt over 100% of GDP. We here in the US are at 102%. The differnece is we have an industrial base, a workforce, and we OWN the money. Oh, and we have all the natural resources needed.

It is true we have far more to fuck up and have done a spectacular job in doing juts that but I would agrue that the worker paradises inferred in your post are as fuct if not far more than the US long term

The Euro will crash. Germany will eventually stop pulling the cart when theyr ealise they are fucking broke as well. Sweden is reshaoing its free shit policies. They and the other Scandinavian paradises will go bust. Eventually you run out of people from whom you can steal money in order to give to thers.

And all along the way during this fiasco you have fiat currency debasement and inflationary monetary policy which ends in the sitaation one sees in The PIGS, much of South America, etc.

All that ends up with 23.5 % unemployemnet such as Spain.

How's THAT working for YOU?

Socialism fails every time it is tried. And it has failed even here in The US. No amount of wealth can change that.

Fedophile's picture

And where is the comparison with Amerika?