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Volunteering while unemployed

Volunteering while unemployed


People who are in receipt of payments such as Jobseeker Support Social can volunteer for as long and as frequently as they wish without affecting any of their social welfare payments. However, if you are in receipt of payments from the Department of Social Protection due to being unemployed or disabled, there are certain criteria, which apply to you. We have compiled this information here for you. Please take care to read this fully. If you need further assistance contact us by e-mail, phone, fax or make an appointment to call in and we will be happy to help you. People who are unemployed, we believe should have the right to volunteer. The range of voluntary work available is endless and by volunteering you can:



1. Gain Job Experience Volunteer experience looks great on a resume. Also, some of the work you do could lead to a job doing similar work.

2. Improve Your Health and Self-Esteem Volunteering to help others has been shown to reduce stress, give you hope, and boost your self-esteem.

3. Meet Real Community Needs Helping people learn to read, or get basic food, clothing, shelter or furniture makes a huge difference! Whether the project is planting a tree or tutoring children, the community will look and feel better.

4. Gain New Skills and Develop Talents Whether you enjoy working with computers, children, or seniors, any interest you have can be developed through volunteering.

5. Potential employers By volunteering, unemployed people are showing potential employers that they can commit to work, are used to the work routine and have recently used, and possibly improved their skills.

People who are in receipt of Jobseeker supports can do certain forms of voluntary work without losing their Unemployment Assistance/Unemployment Benefit and any other entitlements while remaining on the live register. However the individual must still meet the conditions for receiving their unemployment benefit, i.e. you must still be actively and genuinely seeking work and be available to take up work as soon as an opportunity comes your way. Volunteers should be aware that a commitment to full-time volunteering may deem you unavailable for work, which may affect your entitlements.

Voluntary organisations who wish to have individuals in receipt of Social Welfare must have approval from the individual\’s local employment exchange before taking on the volunteer. To do this, the organisation must complete an application form (VW1) which can be obtained from the local office of the Department of Social Protection.

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