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Hi, I'm Joolz2107! Would doing voluntary work impact my UC?

Joolz2107Joolz2107 Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited May 2 in Universal Credit
Hi, I’m currently receiving UC (LCWE) and have many health problems including depression/anxiety. I had to give up my work as a carer 3 and half years ago due to ill health and don’t think I will ever be able to go back to paid employment as I don’t know what my health will be like from 1 day to another. I’m now at a stage where I never leave the house so was thinking about doing unpaid voluntary work to help my mental health and give me a bit of routine in my life. I am worried that the DWP will see this as I’m able to do voluntary work so can get a job, but I know I can’t, can you tell me if I would be allowed to do a few hours a week, who to contact and would it affect my UC? I am also receiving lower rate PIP for mobility and daily living, I just feel I have no purpose in life and my doctor and key worker think this would be good for my mental health. Any information would be very much appreciated. Thank you.


  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,151 Pioneering
    Hi @Joolz2107 welcome to the forum.
    I think doing voluntary work will definitely help with getting out and meeting  people, leave a message in your journal on uc asking how many hours you can do with out it taking effect.   I know a few people who do charity work on uc, mainly to feel a bit useful, getting out and interaction. You may also find this information on gov website, type it into Google, good luck  for when you decide to do it and keep us updated.
    Also join in here with different conversations that are on the forum.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

    Scope community team

    edited May 2
    Hi @Joolz2107 and a warm welcome from me to the community.

    As @Sandy_123 advised, if you add a note to your online journal informing your work coach of your plans to start voluntary work/any further questions, they will be able to advise you.  Also, if you're in the LCW group you will still be expected to carry out work preparation activities as outlined in your claimant commitment too.  This NCVO webpage on 'Volunteering and benefits' has great insight into volunteering and UC so please do give it a visit :) 

    I think that volunteering would be a great way of building back up your confidence and meeting new people so it's great you have your doctor and key workers support.  How are you feeling about it?  And also, do you think you have enough support with your mental health generally?

    Wishing you all the best  <3 Please let us know how you get on.
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  • Joolz2107Joolz2107 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you for replying to my post, I have been placed in the no work related requirements group of universal credit as my health problems are very complicated and don’t know from 1 day to another how I’m going to be feeling, how much pain I’ll be in, how tired I could be, I never ever get 2 days the same and I’m lucky to have 1 good day a week but I’ve worked since I was 15 and I’m now nearly 49, I’m not reliable to go back to paid employment but for the sake of my sanity I would like to do a few hours voluntary work if I can when in receipt of this benefit-thank you for your help.
  • Joolz2107Joolz2107 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I have a fantastic key worker who I am in constant contact with either every week or fortnight but if I was struggling I would be able to speak to him or someone else that day, I really struggled at the start of the pandemic like a lot of people did I’m sure but also a change in medication for the 3rd time in a year is hopefully starting to help, I feel I’m not as anxious, not worrying and overthinking every little thing but I do get very tired very easily, out of breath and breathless at the simplest of tasks-I do get vitamin B12 injections every 8 weeks and even then after 5/6 weeks I feel my mood/depression and energy levels are very low.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    I'm glad you hear that you'd have someone to talk to if you needed it @Joolz2107 :) Have you mentioned to your GP that your energy levels dip again 5 or 6 weeks after the B12 injection? 
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  • Joolz2107Joolz2107 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi-I have mentioned to my doctor a few times about my energy levels and they keep telling me it is due to all the medication I am on but I have been on all this medication for over 10 years, it’s mental and physical exhaustion-my body or mind has no motivation and it really affects my mood and depression when I’m like this.
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