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In annuities, insurance and some government programs, the amount of money one receives under certain, stated circumstances. Benefits commonly refer to periodic payments one begins to receive following retirement, but they may also refer to welfare payments like rental assistance or food stamps. In general, benefits may be fixed at a certain amount (often determined by the amount one has contributed in premiums or taxes) or may vary according to inflation or an underlying investment portfolio.


In eminent domain cases, the concept of “benefit” comes into play because property owners may receive an enhancement in the value of their remaining property after the condemnation.If the enhancement is special to them, or only a very few owners, rather than the general betterment enjoyed by the public at large by the anticipated improvements, then any condemnation award to them may be reduced by the amount of the benefits.

Example: Ken owns 5 acres of land near an eight-lane city thoroughfare. The only thing pre- venting him from having valuable road frontage is a 2-foot-deep strip of land still owned by Elsie. This is the only land remaining to Elsie after successive road widenings over the years. The city decides to widen the road again and takes all the rest of Elsie's land and a 15-foot-deep strip of Ken's land. The city is liable to Ken for the 15-foot sliver, but Ken suddenly has 5 acres of extremely valuable road frontage property. Ken probably won't receive a check from the city because of the special benefits he received from the condemnation.

References in classic literature ?
There is, perhaps, nothing more likely to disturb the tranquillity of nations than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object that does not yield an equal and coincident benefit.
Compared with that good-will I bear my friend, the benefit it is in my power to render him seems small.
On the way he intended to visit all his estates and see for himself how far his orders had been carried out and in what state were the serfs whom God had entrusted to his care and whom he intended to benefit.
Indeed, if Jacquotte was silent for a moment, and took a corner of her apron so as to turn it up in a triangle, it meant that a lengthy expostulation was about to be delivered for the benefit of master or man.
There arises on the deed the instant acknowledgment of benefit on the one part and of debt on the other; that is, of superiority and inferiority.
Nay, we know that substantial benefits often sicken some stomachs; whereas, most will digest any amount of fine words, and be always eager for more of the same food.
in Hornsey, Highgate, Brixton, and Camberwell--they cannot but entertain a lively sense of the inestimable benefits which must inevitably result from carrying the speculations of that learned man into a wider field, from extending his travels, and, consequently, enlarging his sphere of observation, to the advancement of knowledge, and the diffusion of learning.
I doubt not the captain had this veracious picture taken for the benefit of his marines.
It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois -- for the benefit of the working class.
In short, how do you know that such a reformation will be a benefit to man?
Here are children in abundance, and what benefit could have accrued to me from his purchasing Vernon?
Weston had an umbrella too, and offered me the benefit of its shelter, for it was raining heavily.