Transfers, in cash or in kind, to households and intended to lighten the financial burden represented for such households by protection against a certain number of risks or needs (related to illness, old age, housing, etc.). They are made within the framework of social insurance through public or private schemes organised collectively or outside of such schemes within the framework of social assistance by units of general government or NPISH (non-profit institutions serving households).
Social benefits comprise payments in cash (retirement pensions, family benefit, RMI, unemployment compensation, etc.) or in kind (reimbursement of medical care or medicines, etc.).
The social welfare satellite account differs from this by introducing the notion of "social welfare benefits" which also includes social services: free or reduced-price access to services such as public hospitals, accommodation for the disabled, reduced rates in public transport for large families or the elderly.