Unforunately, al, I didn't misunderstand anything. If I'm wallowing in some form of denial, then I know I'm not alone b/c you're right there with me.
You are very obviously trying to have it both ways. If one can regard menial work as a form of restitution, then the same can be said for breaking rocks. I don't know about your country, but over here unemployment and welfare are two different systems with different requirements. Frankly, "the dole" only ensures that MAYBE you won't be out robbing people while you look for new work. Not much of a benefit, since you can do that to people while working as well.