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Social work vocabulary - ways of saying that somebody isn't well-off Options
dave freak
Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2017 2:46:47 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1,616
Neurons: 6,556
Good evening!

Dear friends,

I'm currently extending my vocabulary regarding social work. The reason why I need to enhance my vocab in this field is that I'm tutoring social workers at the moment. I need to pick your brains about a few things.

As usual, I tried my best to write as many sentences as possible to express the idea of not having enough money to live and problems resulting from that. Could you please check them out in terms of grammar and semantics? Are they natural above all?

I find it difficult to live on , given the salary I have.
We're scraping a living now.
My husband is the only breadwinner, so it's difficult for us to make ends meet.
We're badly-off due to the fact that we're on the dole.
Rather than working, he prefers to receive unemployment benefit.
She has a marked level of disability, and hence she's unable to work.
In order to receive attendance allowance, you're supposed to submit the statement of income, the certificate of school attendance if your children go to school.
The only source of income in our family is benefits.
If you're badly-off, you can turn to Dictrict Social Welfare Centre for help.
Although nobody works in our family, we're managing to get by with the help of some warm-hearted people.

I'm also aware of the phrasal "live off"; however, I'm not sure how to use it properly and whether it has a similar meaning to 'live on'?

Thank you for the check-up!
thar
Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2017 4:01:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,452
Neurons: 61,591
dave freak wrote:
Good evening!

Dear friends,

I'm currently extending my vocabulary regarding social work. The reason why I need to enhance my vocab in this field is that I'm tutoring social workers at the moment. I need to pick your brains about a few things.

As usual, I tried my best to write as many sentences as possible to express the idea of not having enough money to live and problems resulting from that. Could you please check them out in terms of grammar and semantics? Are they natural above all?

I find it difficult to live on , the money I get in.
You live on something. I'm not sure if you meant that?
I find it hard to live on my my current wage.

We're scraping a living now.
Scraping a living is actually managing. You would normally qualify that
...barely scraping a living.

My husband is the only breadwinner, so it's difficult for us to make ends meet.
He is the only one earning.
The breadwinner, or the main breadwinner, is the person who earns the most. You will normally see breadwinner qualified by 'main'.

We're badly-off due to the fact that we're on the dole.
Yep (although don't tell that to people who are worse off, working, and paying their taxes to people on the dole!)Whistle

Rather than working, he prefers to receive unemployment benefit.
She has a marked level of disability, and hence she's unable to work.
I am not sure disability can be marked. That means noticeable - but has nothing to do with how able you are to work. A signifiucant level of dusabilkity; a severe disability

In order to receive attendance allowance, you're supposed to submit the statement of income,

You need an 'and'

the certificate of school attendance if your children go to school.


That sounds more like a 'must' than a 'supposed to'.

The only source of income in our family is benefits.
If you're badly-off, you can turn to a/the Dictrict Social Welfare Centre for help.
No.
This is a strange mixture of slang and official. You won't hear people referred to as badly off. There is well-off, and not well-off, and there are 'the badly-off' and 'the worst-off', but a person is rarely described as badly-off. And that just means not having much money. It doesn't mean in dificu!ties. If you need are referring someone for financial assistance, you would make it less slangy, less relative.
If you are suffering financial difficulties/hardship, you can turn to...

Although nobody works in our family, we're managing to get by with the help of some warm-hearted people.

Yep.get by, manage, survive.
I'm also aware of the phrasal "live off"; however, I'm not sure how to use it properly and whether it has a similar meaning to 'live on'?
It is similar, in practice.
You live on the money you acquire.
You live off the thing that supplies you with that money or direct sustenance.
I live on £100 a week. (The amount I spend - what I use to support myself)
I live off the dole. (The source of income)
I am on benefits (I receive them).
I live off benefits (that is my source of income)

It is broader, whatever supports you - I live off my savings, I live off the land.
Eg
What you live on is what you actually use:
I earn £200 a week but manage to live on £100 a week, so I put away £100 a week in my savings account.
At this level, they are used similarly because the amount you can use is limited by the amount you receive.

Thank you for the check-up!
dave freak
Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2017 4:37:45 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1,616
Neurons: 6,556
Thar you are so great!

Yeah - with that "live on" I made a blunder I'm ashamed of. I wasn't aware that "badly-off" is so much slang. Can I say: I live out of benefits because I'm a lazybone.Whistle

I've just had a look at the British welfare system and found out that it offers as many as 34 kinds of benefits/allowances.



NKM
Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2017 5:17:00 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,763
Neurons: 158,783
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
I haven't heard "scraping a living" before. (Maybe that's a British phrasing?)

I have heard "just scraping by."

Also, in Britain one may be "on the dole"; in the U.S. one is "on welfare".

Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2017 7:45:42 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,364
Neurons: 37,621
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Well, actually, we don't have The Dole any longer. Anyone at all who gets any kind of government payment 'gets' benefits. Over a certain age everyone get a card for free bus travel. That's a benefit. Equally, if you can't find work, or are ill, the government payment might be the only thing keeping you, or your children alive. You all get benefits.

But it's only those who live in Government housing, and who have no other source of income- due to a whole spectrum of reasons - who are living 'on' benefits. In some areas they are living 'off' benefits.

And no, how can one 'live out of...' benefits?(C'mon, I'm pretty sure you know this: Dave. If not, please forgive me) One might 'live out of' one's car; or a caravan; a tent, a cave or hole in the ground. But they are solid objects you literally get into and out of. And one couldn't physically get into or out of a "benefit."

NK - We traded one thing about each others' idioms and vocab that had surprised us - hot on it's heels comes another! I hadn't ever dreamed that 'scraping a living' wasn't used universally!

I expect it had rural beginnings - where one literally scraped the dirt by hand in order to survive; to 'scrape a living' may have been a much more commonly understood concept back in the day.
dave freak
Posted: Monday, July 24, 2017 6:43:47 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1,616
Neurons: 6,556
Thank you very much Romany and NKM.

Scrape by is another phrasing in my lexicon. Thanks!

In Poland, the size of a given benefit, If I can put it this way, strictly depends on a family budget per person. That's a very important factor if one is entitled to the benefit or not. Are the following questions something that a native speaker could say?

What's the family budget? Obvious.
What's the income of the family?
What's the family('s) income?
Do I need this apostophe here?
What's the monthly family income?
What's the monthly family income per family member/person?


What about 'per capita'? Does it mean 'per head'?

Sorry for any spelling mistakes, if there are any. I'm on the journey.

Additional note. No wonder some people don't feel the need to work if they are offered so many entitlements. I mean the ones who are able to work. What do you reckon? Every healthy strong human being should work. It's work that ennobles us, shapes our personalities.
I also think that some people got used to living off benefits. Don't get me wrong-I'm talking about people able to work. I'm just wondering if that's fair towards a given society. Political correctness in something which is leading Europe nowhere. Europe denied having Christian roots.
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