Volunteering while unemployed
In these challenging times some folks have considered volunteering but due to fears on how this affects their social welfare payments, have not registered. Claiming a benefit should not prevent you from volunteering, if you so wish. The following are the guidelines issued by the Department of Social Welfare regarding claiming benefits and volunteering. The VW1 Form mentioned below is available to download here.
The Social welfare will not penalise anyone for volunteering, it is acually encouraged as it gets you out of the house, keeps your mind stimulated and as a whole is good for you. Once your volunteering does not affect your availability to work (You turn down a job because you would prefer to volunteer) then the Social welfare have no problem.
If you are volunteering, you need to fill in the attached document to let the social welfare know.
Claiming benefit should not prevent you from volunteering, if you so wish. The following are the guidelines issued by the Department of Social Welfare regarding claiming benefits and volunteering. The VW1 Form mentioned below is available to download here. VW1 Form
Volunteering and Social Welfare Payments
Job-seeker Allowance / Job-seeker Benefit
Examples of voluntary work in which jobseekers may engage include:
- helping the sick, elderly or persons with a disability
- assisting youth clubs, church groups, sports groups, cultural organisations, local resident associations
Aims of the Voluntary Work Option
Applying for the Voluntary Work Option
Decisions in relation to Voluntary Work
While it is not possible to lay down hard and fast rules as to what constitutes voluntary work the position should be clear in most cases. Factors to be taken into account will include:
- the type of work involved
- the aims and standing of the voluntary body
- the weekly hours worked
- the amount of any payment received by way of out-of-pocket expenses
The voluntary work would normally involve only a few hours a day or a few days a week but full-time involvement in voluntary activities would not necessarily be ruled out. However, there should be no implication of Job Replacement or Cheap Labour.
Any payment for the voluntary work should generally be limited to out-of-pocket expenses such as travelling expenses or meal allowances.
Illness benefit or disability benefit
- work for which you do not get paid, or
- work you do as part of treatment while you are a patient in hospital or a similar place, or
- work you do as an out-worker under a charitable scheme, as long as your weekly earnings are under a certain limit.
Blind Person’s pension
All information in this fact-sheet is taken from the Department of Social and Family Affairs web site at http://www.welfare.ie. If you have any queries about any of the information above, please contact the Department of Social and Family Affairs on 1890 66 22 44.