The difference between a subsidy and a benefit.

Among the main measures of state support for citizens are subsidies and benefits. What is their specificity?

What is a subsidy?

Under a subsidy is understood as a cash payment aimed at alleviating the financial situation of a person, sometimes an organization or a government institution, despite the fact that the absence of this support can extremely complicate the activities of its recipient.

Thus, a social state subsidy is a significant help for families with low incomes. The corresponding compensation can be tied, for example, to the payment of utility bills - in the event that the bill for them exceeds a certain amount, suggesting that people have difficulties in paying for it.

There are subsidies operating within the budgetary system of the state. In terms of their legal status, they correspond to the intergovernmental transfer.

The recipient of the subsidy can also be a private enterprise. It can be paid by other businesses, specialized funds or, again, government agencies. For example - when it comes to scientific research.

The willingness of the state or private companies to support firms through subsidies, as a rule, is due to the strategic importance of the enterprises receiving assistance. Their activities are usually related to the scientific, military, and space spheres - the corresponding products may not be highly profitable, but important for the country.

It happens that a subsidy is a temporary measure of support for a citizen, public or private organization. For example, it can be paid during a crisis and a decrease in the income of a particular entity.

Subsidy - gratuitous assistance. It does not imply a return - and this is its difference from a loan.

What is an exemption?

Under a benefit in the general case means a certain discount, the appearance of preferences in obtaining any social benefits. Or, for example, the possibility of a person not to fulfill any obligation or norm, which is subject to fulfillment without privilege. There are a large number of types of benefits - social, tax, transit, customs, etc.

Among those spheres of legal relations in which the application of benefits occurs regularly - again, social support of citizens by the state. This assistance involves providing a person with the opportunity to significantly reduce a number of costs - associated, for example, with paying bills for housing and communal services, transport, medical services, government agencies. Or - to get preferences reflecting a higher level of availability of certain services.

Common benefits for citizens of the Russian Federation include:

  1. the ability to reduce by 50% the cost of housing and communal services;
  2. extraordinary service in public institutions;
  3. a preferential position when joining various non-profit associations.

Obtaining benefits in the Russian Federation is possible, as a rule, only if a person has a certain status. For example, a veteran of labor or an honored donor. Depending on the status, the set of preferences for benefits may be different.

The considered support measure, like the subsidy, is generally free of charge.


The main difference between a subsidy and a benefit is that the first support measure involves a cash payment to an entity that needs it. A benefit is a discount that usually does not imply actual payments to someone. But, in fact, the opportunity to save on paying any bills in the case of a benefit can be no less significant help than receiving payments in the form of a subsidy.

Note that some state benefits in the Russian Federation still involve cash payments to citizens. For example, when it comes to reimbursing utility costs.

Having identified the difference between a subsidy and a benefit, we reflect the conclusions in the table.


Subsidy Benefit
What do they have in common?
Subsidies and benefits are gratuitous measures to support a person, public or private organization, provided by other, more solvent entities
What is the difference between them?
Assumes the transfer of cash payments to an entity who needs themAssumes the provision of discounts, compensation for expenses or preferences when using any resources for the entity who needs similar support measures