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Volunteering on a goverment benefit
You are allowed to do volunteer work on a benefit as long as you adhere to certain conditions. For example, your volunteer work can not diminish your chances of getting a paid job nor can you work in a capacity that replaces an otherwise paid employee. For information on all conditions you should contact your benefits agency.
It is important to inform your case manager about your volunteer work.
If you are doing volunteer work, and are than offered a (appropriate) paid job elsewhere, you are expected to stop with your volunteer work during working hours. You are, of course, free and welcome to keep volunteering outside of working hours, as it is important and fun.
Participation Law (Participatiewet)
As of January 1 2015 the participation law is in effect. The intent of this law is to find a job for as many people as possible. If paid employment is not (yet) available, municipalities are allowed to require a return investment in the form of unpaid activities that are beneficial to the society, such as volunteer work.
Taking care of a child, parent, friend or family member with a handicap or (long-term) illness, without expecting payment, is called Mantelzorg or caregiving.
Aside from their duty of care, caregivers often have a family or job, or follow a study. This can easily lead to overwhelming situations. Requesting others to help alleviate the situation is not always easy: You might not want to burden others, or requesting help might be considered as a failure towards the helped. Nonetheless, asking other family members or neighbors for help allows the burden to be distributed over multiple people, which benefits both you, as the primary caregiver, and the caretaker.
It is important to take care of yourself and prevent yourself from burning out. Do not break your limits. There are possibilities for a professional or volunteer to temporarily take over for you in caring for the caretaker. This allows you to spend some time on yourself. This replacement care is also called 'respijtzorg' or respite care.
Steunpunt Mantelzorg Verlicht
For questions about caregiving you can contact the Steunpunt Mantelzorg Verlicht (the site is in Dutch). The consultants are familiar with the care services in Eindhoven and understand what it means to be a caregiver. They can help you find and maintain balance in your care task.
The 'Steunpunt Mantelzorg Verlicht' provides understanding and support, advice concerning rules and regulations, delegation of care, aid with forms, mediation with other organizations and information about certain diseases.