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Will volunteering affect my benefits?

The UK Government web site says:

“You can volunteer and claim benefits if:

  • The only money you get from volunteering is to cover expenses, like travel costs.
  • You continue to meet the conditions of the benefit you get.”

We strongly advise you to look at (opens in new browser tab/window) where many of your additional questions have been answered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In addition, the DWP have provided a policy statement (new in 2021) on Volunteering and Work Capability Assessments: please contact us and we’ll send you a copy.

The guidance on the web site (link above) was originally published by the DWP following a co-design process in Scotland in 2017.  A refreshed version of the guidance has now been published since July 2019 by the DWP for use across the UK.  It answers most of the questions put to the DWP in 2017 in Scotland by people volunteering and claiming benefits and the remaining questions are now answered by the new 2021 policy statement on Volunteering and Work Capability Assessments.

Cost of Living crisis: How to avoid putting people’s DWP welfare benefits at risk

Additional guidance is available for groups and organisations on how best to provide volunteers with expenses and/or in-kind support for food, travel, clothing and warm venues. We’ve worked with colleagues nationally and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide the guidance.

You’ll find it the section on “Best Practices” at this link: Volunteer Wiki – Volunteering and UK State Benefits


If you wish to speak with someone in confidence about volunteering and benefits, contact one of our advisers at Volunteer Glasgow.

If you’d like to know more about how we have worked from 2013 with a range of partners and stakeholders to help DWP produce this new guidance – and what we’re planning to do next – please see the news items below.

photo of Allan - VAS - and Denise - DWP - signing Partnership agreementNews:

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