Fraternal benefit society benefits are those given to members of fraternal societies (also called mutual aid societies) providing mutual financial assistance. The benefits differ widely based on the organization with some providing financial assistance for education and food, but almost all fraternal benefit societies provide some form of life or health insurance. Fraternal benefit societies have filled key social welfare protections before government welfare programs existed and were foundational to modern insurance. Some organizations even provide benefits and other aid to local communities. Fraternal benefit societies usually are organized around some form of common values and interests like a religion or trade, and sometimes the organizations require partaking in these commonalities in order to receive benefits. Fraternal benefits from registered non-profit organizations remain tax free under 501(c)8 and usually are not considered in bankruptcy proceedings.
[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]