The Department operates a scheme whereby VDWs can qualify for Credited Contributions, or ‘VDW Credits’, in respect of a period spent working in a developing country and any preparatory period beforehand.
The award of VDW Credits has been in place since 6 April 1983.
These ‘Credits’ can help you qualify for certain social welfare benefits and pensions after you return from the developing country.
In addition, certain qualifying conditions for entitlement to Maternity Benefit, Health and Safety Benefit, Jobseeker’s Benefit, Illness Benefit and Treatment Benefit have been relaxed for returned VDW. Therefore, it is important that you identify yourself as a returned VDW when making a claim.