Q) Hello, I am signing up for unemployment benefits, and right now I am volunteering at our Town Hall. I know that generally when receiving unemployment benefits, one can still be volunteering. However in our town hall, when you’re volunteering 100hr or more anually, they reduce your property tax by 10%. Is such volunteering considered to be a paid job that prevents you from receiving unemployment benefits?
A) According to the Department Of Labor:
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 full-time 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.