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What is Social Welfare?

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Social Welfare is the set of measures and actions aimed at meeting the needs of the members of a society. Its objective is to improve the social, economic and human conditions of the population by protecting individuals against poverty, illness, unemployment, disability or problems arising from old age.

Social welfare is protection provided by society itself, since all citizens finance these measures through the taxes they pay. It is a solidarity-based protection mechanism, where the economically active population helps to support those who cannot work.

There are two main social welfare systems:

Public Social Welfare (called Social Security in most countries)

The State guarantees the people who fall within its ambit the right to health, medical care, a pension and other social benefits aimed at guaranteeing individual well-being.

As a set of measures implemented by the State, Public Social Welfare is channeled through various institutions depending on each country. The National Social Security Institute of Spain, the Mexican Social Security Institute and the Social Security Institute of Paraguay are just some examples of institutions dedicated to social security.

Supplementary Social Welfare  (private)

This is a voluntary system financed through individual contributions, including pension plans and life insurance, as well as other financial instruments marketed by private companies and mainly aimed at savings.