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Volunteering and the unemployment payment

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, outlined to David Stanton (FG, Cork E) the current policy on volunteering when volunteers were in receipt of jobseeker payments (Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th April 2011, 893).  She told him that they could, while volunteering, continue to receive jobseeker payment when engaged in voluntary work provided that they met the normal requirements of being available for and genuinely seeking work.  One or other party should obtain the form VW1 either from the social welfare office or the departmental website and the deciding officer would then rule whether the customer could take up the work in question without affecting entitlement.  Typical voluntary activity for which this was envisaged included helping the sick, elderly, people with a disability, youth clubs, church groups, sports, cultural groups or resident associations.