Protecting Your Social Welfare Rights

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As an overseas volunteer or development worker it is important to protect your social welfare entitlements so that you can access social welfare allowances and benefit on your return and contribute to your state pension. This could be crucially important if you wish to claim unemployment, maternity or other benefits when you’re back in Ireland.

Comhlámh can advise you of your options including the Volunteer Development Workers Scheme (which can be applied for retrospectively), being retained on the Irish social insurance system or paying Voluntary Contributions.

We administer the Public Service Pension Scheme for Volunteer Development Workers and can provide information about what to think about if you are leaving an occupational pension scheme.

We also validate eligibility of development workers for the Free Fees Initiative for Higher Education Grants, Local Authority Grants and Allowances, maternity benefit and can issue supporting letters.

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