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Eligibility: Can volunteer activities affect my unemployment benefits?

Volunteer activities are not only a way to serve your community, but can also be a successful strategy as part of your reemployment plan. Under Employment Security law, you must be able to work and available for work. While volunteering you must continue to make an active and earnest search for work. You can be considered available for work while performing volunteer activities:
  • If you are willing to stop the volunteer activity upon an offer of suitable work; OR
  • Providing the volunteer activity does not occur during customary work hours for the type of work you are seeking.
Your unemployment benefits could be denied if you refuse an interview because it interferes with your volunteer activities.

To learn more about volunteer activities, visit the United We Serve website. If you have specific questions about how your volunteer activities might affect your unemployment, contact  your Regional Claims Center (RCC).

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