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JSA & benefits rules

Volunteering whilst claiming benefits

You can volunteer whilst on benefits and there is no set limit to the number of hours you can do. You must be able to demonstrate you can meet the conditions for receiving your benefits.  On Job Seeker's Allowance this means you are:

  • actively looking for work
  • willing to stop volunteering if you get a job (you must be able to start a job within a week of being offered one)

It is always a good idea to discuss your volunteering with your benefits agency so they are in the picture. Many advisors are supportive and encourage volunteering but if your adviser is unsure, show them or refer them to:

1. page on volunteering
2. The DWP brochure JCP - Volunteering on Benefits 

You can also contact us at the Volunteer Centre on 0114 253 6649

Asylum seekers can volunteer

Since 2000 it has been Home Office policy that asylum seekers are allowed to volunteer and the April 2014 guidance attempts to further reinforce this position. 

For further information please see our Asylum seeker volunteering legislation page