In a study carried out among a representative sample of Jewish Israeli adults, a paradigm of need-satisfaction by direct welfare assistance has been developed and, to a great extent, empirically supported. Multivariate analysis revealed that, despite the fact that it is recognized as indispensible in facilitating basic living conditions, direct welfare assistance, whatever its kind, predicts frustration rather than need-satisfaction. The data ascertain that attributing to the welfare assistance the latent functions of preserving consumers' inferiority and of pursuing the agencies' and the welfare workers' interests rather than those of the consumers, constitute a major factor in the resulting feeling of frustration. Dependence, a sense of deprivation, and the attribution of these latent functions, rather than need-satisfaction beyond those of facilitating basic living conditions, are greatly predicted by receiving direct welfare assistance.