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TOPIC: Increasing my voluntary work

Increasing my voluntary work 6 years 10 months ago #14483

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I do voluntary work. Over the last year, I have built it up so that I am now doing typically 12-14 hours per week.

My ambition is to get back into paid work and I'd like in due course to do more than two days voluntary work as a precursor to that. However, I'm twitchy about the idea of doing more than two days voluntary work a week in case some decision maker decides that that means that I'm capable of paid work before I'm ready for it. At present, I'm exempt the PCA on the basis of my severe mental illness, but I wonder if the DWP would decide that I can't be ill enough to get that exemption if I can do this much voluntary work.

I'm also very anxious about my DLA in the light of Ron's experiences, but maybe that's better pursued in another discussion.

Does anyone here have experience of gradually building up the number of hours of voluntary work they do and its impact on their IB?

I so desperately want to get back into paid work but can't see any practical way of doing it except by working up to it via more and more voluntary work.
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Re:Increasing my voluntary work 6 years 10 months ago #14484

  • Jim Allison
  • OFFLINE
  • retired Principal Welfare Rights Officer
Hi Survivor,

Hope you had a pleasant Christmas, and wish you all the best for New Year.
I'd also like to thank you for your most valuable contributions over the last year, and I'm sure that the other moderators would agree with me.

I admire your determination and your ambition to get back in to paid work.

However, despite the fact that it's perfectly legal and encouraged by JobCentre Plus, it seems that more and more the DWP are wrongly in my opinion, taking the view that claimants doing voluntary work are capable of holding down paid work.

See this thread HERE and note Steve Donnison's comments.

Kind regards.

Jim
PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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Re:Increasing my voluntary work 6 years 10 months ago #14485

Thanks for your reply, Jim. Your comments about my contributions were very kind.

Thanks for the link to the other thread - I should have spotted it!
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Re:Increasing my voluntary work 6 years 10 months ago #14487

Survivor wrote:
As I've mentioned elsewhere, I do voluntary work. Over the last year, I have built it up so that I am now doing typically 12-14 hours per week.

My ambition is to get back into paid work and I'd like in due course to do more than two days voluntary work as a precursor to that. However, I'm twitchy about the idea of doing more than two days voluntary work a week in case some decision maker decides that that means that I'm capable of paid work before I'm ready for it. At present, I'm exempt the PCA on the basis of my severe mental illness, but I wonder if the DWP would decide that I can't be ill enough to get that exemption if I can do this much voluntary work.

I'm also very anxious about my DLA in the light of Ron's experiences, but maybe that's better pursued in another discussion.

Does anyone here have experience of gradually building up the number of hours of voluntary work they do and its impact on their IB?

I so desperately want to get back into paid work but can't see any practical way of doing it except by working up to it via more and more voluntary work.

I think the problems which may arise, are firstly that the DWP may be of the opinion that if you increase your hours, you may be able to do part-time paid work.

Secondly, if you are doing an increased number of hours for the same voluntary organisation, the DWP may consider that the organisation should in fact pay you a wage for the job, which would obviously remove the voluntary status.

Thirdly, if you are able to do an increasing number of hours of voluntary work, the DWP may draw negative inferences and call into question your exemption from the PCA on the grounds of severe mental illness, and seek to withdraw the exemption by initiating the PCA?

I should stress that these are only possibilities, but in the current climate of wanting to reduce the numbers of claimants on IB, in my view, the DWP could use any means available to achieve their objective.
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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Re:Increasing my voluntary work 6 years 10 months ago #14490

That makes sense.

I suppose it's a question of improving my mental and emotional stamina through social activities, then. If I were to attend local community meetings and debate whilst not joining any committees, I'd be making a time commitment (albeit to myself) and exercising my mind without doing "work".

It's almost as if the powers that be don't want people like me to be rehabilitated or to make any contribution to society.
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Re:Increasing my voluntary work 6 years 10 months ago #14492

Survivor wrote:
That makes sense.

I suppose it's a question of improving my mental and emotional stamina through social activities, then. If I were to attend local community meetings and debate whilst not joining any committees, I'd be making a time commitment (albeit to myself) and exercising my mind without doing "work".

It's almost as if the powers that be don't want people like me to be rehabilitated or to make any contribution to society.

I think the DWP would like you to make a contribution to society, as long as it doesn't involve the receipt of incapacity/disability benefits.
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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