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  • briona
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 08, 11:05 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 08, 11:05 AM
    Everytime I sign on, the Job Centre person always asks 'Have you done any paid or unpaid work in the last fortnight?' I do understand that doing paid hours you will get some JSA knocked off. What exactly happens if you did voluntary work? If that means money knocked off, that really sucks.
    Originally posted by jumpycheese1
    You CAN volunteer whilst on JSA however many volunteering opportunities give you a small allowance, which is probably why they are asking you if you've done any.

    The company I worked for reimbursed travel costs on production of a valid ticket so that no one was out of pocket but they also gave volunteers a 'lunch' allowance of 3-4 per day. As far as I know that was the maximum someone on JSA could 'earn' without it affecting their benefits (approx. 20pw?). Not all of our volunteers were on JSA though most were on IB or DLA so it may be that they could 'earn' a bit more? (Perhaps someone in the know can clarify this?) :confused:

    It is worth noting that my company had an arrangement with the Job Centre to take volunteers from their pool of job seekers, so in effect the Job Centre was arranging the placements. Perhaps your local Job Centre could arrange something similar for you? They might be happier for you to volunteer if they have arranged it?
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  • tsstss7
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 08, 11:14 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 08, 11:14 AM
    It may well affect your benefits if you do over 16 hrs. However I'd discuss it with your back to work adviser as so long as they know and you've discussed it it could be considered a good first step towards getting back into employment, especially as it could give you useful experience.
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    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 12th Oct 08, 6:57 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 08, 6:57 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 08, 6:57 PM
    Any volunteering would need not to affect your commitment to seeking work, as it were, hence the 16 hour limit.

    As for being paid expenses, I know there was a big hoo-ha in the voluntary sector a year or two back because someone thought it would be a good idea to count volunteering expenses from the income assessed benefits. don't know if this applied to JSA, but after a lot of fuss that decision was overturned.
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  • chuffee
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 08, 4:26 PM
    Useful link
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 08, 4:26 PM
    http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/stellent/groups/jcp/documents/websitecontent/dev_015837.pdf

    This link is the latest guidance fromm the department of work and pensions. There is no time limit imposed on volunteering but any expenses you receive are expected to be disclosed to job centre plus. (You may be asked to back this up with receipts)

    nb unpaid work and volunteering aren't actually the same thing!
    Last edited by chuffee; 13-10-2008 at 4:28 PM.
  • ukdickie31
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 08, 6:47 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 08, 6:47 PM
    Just to add to what has already been said..

    The benefit Decision Maker can deem that voluntary work be treated the same as paid work in some circumstances. In effect, that means assuming an income and reducing benefit accordingly.

    There is a difference between what would normally be classed as voluntary work and that which is chosen to be unpaid work.

    In general terms, working for a registered charity is more likely to be classed a nil income and accepted as voluntary work.

    You will still need to complete forms declaring the 'employer' (on an A15 form) and complete a fortnightly declaration of hours worked and confirmation of any payment (or none) received on a B7 form.

    You would also have to confirm your availibility for full time employemt and limit any voluntary hours to less than 16 in each benefit week.
  • ceridwen
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 08, 7:43 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 08, 7:43 PM
    I did loads of voluntary work back during periods of unemployment.

    The thought literally never even crossed my mind of mentioning to the DHSS (as was) that I was doing that voluntary work. I dont know if the rules have changed since - but I always understood that the position was that I could do what voluntary work I pleased, as long as I dropped it the second some paid work turned up.

    Personally - if I were in that same position now - I wouldnt even mention it - what business is it of theirs if you are doing voluntary work rather than sitting there watching yet another "soap" on t.v.? Either way - you'll have to drop whatever you are doing when a job comes along and take that instead....
  • ukdickie31
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 08, 9:02 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 08, 9:02 PM
    You would also have to confirm your availibility for full time employemt and limit any voluntary hours to less than 16 in each benefit week.

    I stand corrected on the 16 hour rule... There is no longer any limit.

    The attached link explains in more detail as well as links to leaflets in PDF format.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Gettinginvolvedinyourcommunity/Volunteering/DG_064299
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