Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Guide to Volunteering While Claiming Benefits

Volunteering can offer a rewarding way to make the most of time spent on benefits. Not only can you gain new skills but you can also gather useful experience which may help you to find the job or career of your choice. In most cases there should be no problem with you volunteering while claiming benefits. However there are exceptions to this and you should always check with your benefits advisor before embarking on any voluntary work.
You are considered to be a volunteer if you do not receive payment for the work you do (apart from expenses), are not volunteering because of a legal obligation (such as a sentence), help out a non-profit making organisation such as a charity or help someone who is not a family member.

What About Expenses?

In many cases volunteers are reimbursed for their expenses in travelling to and from their place of volunteering. This is simply replacing out-of-pocket expenses and should not affect your benefit entitlement in any way. Other items which you can be provided with without it affecting your benefit include the cost of waterproof clothing or other special equipment, the cost of food for meals taken away from home or the cost of childcare to enable you to volunteer. All expenses need to be declared to your benefits adviser and once they are shown to be legitimate out of pocket expenses they will not be deducted from your benefits. If you receive any additional payments or allowances this may be taken into account and deducted from your payment. For example if you receive pocket money or even payment in kind.-read more

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