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Volunteering - No Impact On Benefits

Volunteer – You Won’t Lose Your Benefits!

People on benefits can be confident that volunteering won’t affect their claim as long as they report it to the Jobcentre, new guidance states. And people on disability benefits are free to volunteer without fearing that it will automatically trigger a work capability assessment.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has worked with Voluntary Action Scotland and local third sector support bodies to create the new guidance to help people on benefits volunteer with confidence. It also clearly states that volunteers are entitled to receive out of pocket expenses, such as travel or childcare costs, without losing their benefits income.

There is no limit on the amount of time that people on benefits can volunteer, however they must ensure that they can meet the conditions of their benefits, which may involve spending a certain number of hours a week job searching.

Scottish volunteering contributes an estimated £2.6 billion annually to the economy. Research also shows that people who volunteer are happier, healthier and more employable. Confusion about how many hours a person can volunteer when claiming benefits and whether it will impact on the amount of money they receive is thought to have put off many from gaining employability skills through volunteering.

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