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in capitalist countries, special monetary aid to persons who are out of work as a result of unemployment. Unemployment benefits have been introduced in 30 capitalist countries. As a rule, agricultural workers are not eligible. Unemployment benefits are usually financed in equal amounts by the contributions of workers and employers.
In Italy and the USA, only employers contribute to unemployment benefits. In Australia, New Zealand, and Luxembourg, benefits are paid for entirely out of state funds only to those unemployed who have undergone a thorough investigation of need and are classified as having no other means of subsistence. In Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, benefits are paid only to members of special funds set up on a voluntary basis by trade unions. Contributions to these funds are financed fully by the workers, although the state does provide some subsidies.
Under each system, unemployment benefits do not cover the entire period of unemployment. No benefits are paid during the waiting period, or the first two to seven days. Usually the maximum pay period is three to six months and the benefits usually amount to 30-60 percent of wages earned. The worker must make contributions for a certain period of time before he is eligible to receive benefits. To continue being eligible, he must register regularly with the unemployment office (labor exchange) and must actively look for work on his own. The major reasons for disqualification from benefits are discharge for misconduct, participating in a strike, voluntary termination of employment, and refusal of suitable work.