People who claim benefits can volunteer as many hours as they like, but they must follow certain rules.
Here's how to make sure your volunteers' benefits claims aren't affected by their volunteering.
If your volunteers do have any issues with their benefits claims, they can contact Citizens Advice.
It’s important that volunteering doesn’t look like paid work. This could reduce or stop the benefit payments someone gets.
As someone involving volunteers, make sure:
Some volunteers will need money for their expenses upfront. It can be difficult for volunteers on low incomes to come up with money for travel or food.
In such cases, make sure:
Volunteers must tell their benefits office about their volunteering.
This will need to include:
The volunteer must tell their benefits office if this information changes. They should also tell them if they stop volunteering.
If you need to change the volunteer's role or hours, you must let them know with as much as notice as possible.
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Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is for people able to work and seeking work.
Volunteers claiming jobseeker’s allowance will need to:
There's no limit to the hours people receiving this benefit can volunteer.
They may need some flexibility to go to appointments they need to keep to claim this benefit.
People receiving Universal Credit can still volunteer.
If they have to search for and prepare for work, this will usually be for 35 hours a week. Volunteering can count as a ‘work search activity’ for up to half (50%) of this time.
People can volunteer for longer if they choose to. If so, they will still need to commit half of their total hours a week to searching or preparing for work.
If you need to change the hours or days your volunteer does, you must give them as much notice as possible. They can then make other arrangements for their work preparation activities.
Last reviewed: 12 April 2021Help us improve this content
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