Only the Social Security Administration can determine whether, or how, your benefits will be affected while you serve as a Volunteer. As a Volunteer, both your readjustment allowance (accrued at the rate of $350 per month and paid at the end of service) and a small percentage of your monthly living allowance constitute earnings for Social Security purposes. Social Security and Medicare tax payments are deducted from your monthly readjustment allowance. For more information, visit socialsecurity.gov or call 800.772.1213.
Volunteers receive a living allowance that allows you to live in a manner similar to the local people in your community. The Peace Corps also provides complete medical and dental care and covers the cost of transportation to and from your country of service. To assist with the transition back home, Volunteers who start service after October 1, 2016, are paid $9,450 (before taxes and requested allotment deductions) at the close of 27 months of service. Visit the Benefits page to learn more about what you receive as a Volunteer.
There may be various challenges to maintaining your diet in many of the countries where Volunteers serve, including cultural norms and limited availability. Visit Countries to select a country where you want to serve and read more about Food and Diet in the Preparing to Volunteer section in each country. You can also contact a recruiter to learn more.
Yes. The Peace Corps accepts unmarried couples in committed domestic partnerships. Couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year before they begin service are better able to adapt to the challenges of the Peace Corps. Unmarried couples seeking to serve as a couple must attest to their committed domestic partner relationship as part of their applications.
See more information on how to apply as a couple.
Log into the applicant portal and navigate to your application status page.
You can submit one application at a time, either for a specific position or to be considered for programs where you are needed most. You can also apply again for future programs if you are not selected for the position to which you applied. Search Volunteer Openings for Volunteer opportunities available now.
Log into your applicant portal and navigate to the email history page. There, you'll see the next task you need to complete.
Email the respective contact for the activity or form you have a question about. If there isn't a specific contact email, send your question to email@example.com.
Click on the “Help” tab in the applicant portal, or send an email describing your exact technical difficulties to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the Reset Your Password link, just below the entry field for your login and password. You will need your username (your email address) and your candidate reference number to reset your password.
Couples are accepted in all three Peace Corps service programs, however, placement options and application time may vary for each. To place a couple we must first identify specific communities that can accommodate couples with adequate work to support two Volunteers, then match that couple with communities that have requested their skill combination. For these reasons, it is more difficult to find assignments and placement generally takes longer for couples than for individuals.
- Two-Year Service: Couples should search for openings in the same country that match both of their skill sets and that accept couples. Couples need to submit individual applications and, in the application, indicate that they are applying to serve with their spouse/domestic partner. Couples should submit their applications at the same time.
- Peace Corps Response: Couples can serve together, but must apply to individual job postings separately.
- Global Health Service Partnership: Couples can apply and serve together, depending on placement options. Partners who are not medical professionals can either apply to serve under Peace Corps Response or can accompany the GHSP volunteer at their expense.
Contact a recruiter for more information.
If you attempt to login unsuccessfully more than six times, your account will be locked and you will need to email email@example.com to have it unlocked. When contacting us, include your name and your seven-digit candidate reference number. Don't forget to make sure you are using the correct email address. If you have a different email address than the one on your resume, try that one as well.
Our materials are free to use, copy, and distribute without permission. However, you cannot reproduce and sell World Wise Schools resources for profit.
You can serve in the Peace Corps with outstanding financial obligations if you can show that the debts can be managed and/or paid in a timely way during service. If you plan to have another person assume responsibility for making payments on a debt, an original copy of a notarized statement from that person acknowledging his or her responsibility is required. Additionally, you may include an allotment or multiple allotments up to 75 percent of your gross monthly allowance from your Volunteer readjustment allowance when making debt payment plans. This allotment is not available until the trainee is sworn in as a Volunteer. These allotments must be paid directly to the company that holds the debt. For student loan debt, you should contact the lender directly to see if they offer any relief or deferment plans.
You may want to discuss with an attorney the possibility of giving a relative or friend power of attorney to handle your financial matters, along with an accountant to file your taxes while you are serving abroad. Keep in mind that your monthly living allowance and readjustment allowance are considered taxable income, so W-2 forms will be sent to your in-country worksite. You can either file your taxes from overseas or send them home, along with other income records, to be filed by someone else. As a Volunteer, you may be granted an extension on the tax filing date. Consult your tax adviser for additional information.
Yes. The Peace Corps accepts same-sex couples. Both you and your partner must apply at the same time and qualify for assignments in the same country. The Peace Corps will only consider you as a couple, and will look to place you at the same site. Because of this, couples sometimes experience longer application periods. Couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year before they begin service are better able to adapt to the challenges of the Peace Corps. Unmarried couples seeking to serve as a couple must execute an affidavit attesting to their committed domestic partner relationship as part of their applications. Same-sex couples placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements.
See more information on how to apply as a couple.
Yes. Speak with a recruiter, who can put you in touch with current or returned LGBTQ Volunters. Additionally, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Peace Corps Alumni offers resources for applicants and prospective Volunteers, including a mentor program, an email listserv, and a quarterly e-newsletter.
Once Volunteers are in-country, Peace Corps staff will provide them with guidance for maintaining their safety and well-being as appropriate. To ensure productive, healthy, and safe experiences for Volunteers, the Peace Corps reviews work and housing sites in advance, collaborates on project development with local communities, and develops and tests plans for responding to emergencies. Field staff also receive training to support same-sex couples that addresses safety and security issues, host family preparation, job assignments, and resources for same-sex couples (including host country LGBT organizations where available). Volunteers also often create formal and informal support groups at their post. Currently, many posts have support groups for LGBT Volunteers, women, and Volunteers of color.
Transgender applicants are required to provide: 1. A social security card; 2. A passport or birth certificate. If your documents have not been updated with your new gender, you will need to submit a physician’s certificate for your passport application validating whether your gender transition is in process or complete. Learn more about requirements for transgender applicants for U.S. passports.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized.
Communities in different countries respond differently to same-sex couples, and the environment may be different from what you are accustomed. The Peace Corps will provide country-specific information once you are invited to serve, and Peace Corps staff will provide additional information and training once you arrive in-country.
Information about individual experiences can be found on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Returned Peace Corps Volunteers website. For more information, contact a recruiter.
Life After Peace Corps
Returned Volunteers are not eligible for unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor has ruled that individuals enrolled in the Peace Corps are Volunteers who perform services under terms and conditions that do not rise to the legal relationship of employer and employee and, therefore, are not considered in employment covered under Title II of the Emergency Jobs and Unemployment Assistance Act of 1974, Public Law 93-567.88, Stat. 1845.
Generally, returned Volunteers must have successfully completed a full tour of Peace Corps service to receive this eligibility. Country directors may choose to issue this certification to a Volunteer who, for reasons beyond his or her control, does not complete service, but who has satisfactorily served for a sufficient duration (normally at least 12 months) to demonstrate the capability to serve a full term. Volunteers who resign from Peace Corps service are not eligible for noncompetitive appointment regardless of how long they served. Peace Corps Response and Global Health Service Partnership Volunteers who complete 12 months of service in a 24-month period are eligible for noncompetitive eligibility within the Peace Corps. PCR and GHSP Volunteers who complete two consecutive years of service receive noncompetitive eligibility for agencies outside the Peace Corps.
Learn more about what noncompetitive eligibility is and how it can help you get hired by federal agencies.
OWCP uses a schedule of maximum allowable medical charges. Providers agree to comply with the OWCP medical fee schedule. You do not have to pay the difference between the maximum charge set by the schedule and the charge made by the provider.
The description of service (DOS) completed by you and signed by the country director is considered your job description. If you did not complete a DOS, contact the desk officer for your country of service to initiate the process. If you completed a DOS but have not received a copy, complete a request form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Returned Volunteers are eligible for three months of coverage by a private health insurance called Short-term Health Insurance for Transition and Travel. The Peace Corps pays the first month’s premium for you and you have the option to purchase two additional months for yourself and pay for any qualified dependents. If you have service-related conditions that need an evaluation, your medical officer or the Office of Medical Services at headquarters will provide an authorization form for this evaluation. If an illness or injury was related to your Volunteer service, you may be eligible for benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act through the Department of Labor.
In accordance with the federal regulations of the Peace Corps Act of 1961, treatment of Peace Corps-related medical and dental conditions for Volunteers who have closed service falls under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act as administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). The Peace Corps does not have the legal authority to pay for or provide health care for returned Volunteers. If you require ongoing medical treatment due to a service-related injury, the Post-Service Unit will assist you in filing a claim for FECA benefits. All entitlement decisions rests with OWCP and not the Peace Corps.
Medical & Health
It may. Peace Corps Volunteers serve around the world in physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging environments where medical resources and local transportation services may vary significantly from those in the U.S. Each applicant’s medical history is considered individually to ensure Peace Corps is able to safely meet their medical needs in their country of service. To learn more about medical considerations, including conditions that may disqualify a person for Peace Corps service, read Important Medical Information for Applicants. Additionally, each job opening lists specific medical considerations for that country. If you apply, you must fully disclose your medical history so Peace Corps can consider your health needs.
The medical review will require a dental and physical evaluation, lab work, and selected immunizations. Depending on a person's age and gender, the medical review may also include an ECG, colon cancer screening, Pap smear and/or a mammogram. We require that all necessary dental work be completed (wisdom teeth extracted (if recommended), cavities filled, braces removed) in order to give final clearance to serve abroad. For more information, please go to the Medical Information for Applicants page.
The Peace Corps provides a small cost-sharing contribution toward medical expenses incurred during the medical qualification process: $60 for dental, between $125 and $290 for physical exams (depending on age and gender), and, if requested, $12 for eyeglass prescription and $150 for the yellow fever vaccination if it is required for a Volunteer's country of service. Costs above these amounts are the applicant’s responsibility. We encourage applicants to research for lower cost alternatives (e.g., National Association of Free Clinics, VISION USA, and International College of Dentists). Local health departments may provide reasonably priced immunizations.
Peace Corps requires proof of routine childhood immunizations, which may be shot records or blood tests, to include tetanus/diphtheria, chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. Depending on a Volunteer’s country of service, yellow fever vaccination may also be required. Vaccines necessary for a specific country of service will be given by Peace Corps medical staff when a Volunteer arrives in-country. Should a Volunteer choose to get any additional immunizations it is his or her responsibility to pay for them. For information on recommended immunizations by country please refer to http://www.cdc.gov/.
No, invitations to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer are contingent on final medical clearance. A nurse will review your health history and your medical considerations and determine if you can be medically cleared. Please respond to all requests for information and activities by any deadlines so that your clearance process is not delayed.
You may appeal this decision to the Peace Corps by sending a message requesting an appeal through your Medical Portal. Please let us know within 5 calendar days of receiving the decision if you are requesting an appeal. Less than 10% of appeals are reversed and the decision may not occur before your departure date.
Upon receiving your request, an “appeal task” will be posted on your portal. At that time, you will have up to 30 days to upload relevant and new information about your medical condition you would like considered in connection with your appeal. If you do not submit new information by the deadline, your request for an appeal will be withdrawn and your case will be closed.
Please be aware that, even if your appeal is successful with respect to the medical condition for which you were not medically cleared, you may have other medical conditions that we have not yet fully evaluated that might preclude you from being medically cleared for Peace Corps service. Additionally, it is likely that the appeal process will conclude after your scheduled departure date. If this is the case you would have to apply again.
The Peace Corps deeply appreciates your commitment to service. If you are interested in other service options, you may wish to visit www.serve.gov. This website is a comprehensive clearing house of volunteer opportunities to serve across the country and the world. Serve.gov is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Before logging in, be sure you've registered here. After you register, you can log in through the regular link here. If you're using the correct username and your candidate reference number without success or your account is locked, email email@example.com and let us know. When contacting us, include your name and your seven-digit candidate reference number.
The Peace Corps provides appropriate and necessary health care to Volunteers during their service. Visit Medical Care During Service to learn more. After service, the Peace Corps pays for one month of health-care coverage under Short-term Health Insurance for Transition and Travel and returned Volunteers may purchase up to two more months of additional coverage. Federal retirees may suspend federal employee health benefits during service. (Talk with your retirement office to ensure that the suspension is done in a way that permits re-enrollment.) For individuals with Medicare, check with your Medicare office to find out if payments will continue to be deducted from your Social Security payment while you serve. You can cancel Medicare Part B (so you don’t have to pay the monthly premiums during your service) and re-enroll without penalty when you return to the U.S., as long as you submit the re-enrollment form prior to your close of service.
Peace Corps Response
You can check your application status at any time by logging into your account and clicking on “Job Submission Status,” then checking the “HR Status” column.
No. There are separate application processes and applicant portals for the two-year program and Peace Corps Response. Visit the Response Openings page to explore and apply to Peace Corps Response opportunities.
If you don't see an opening now that matches your skills, you should continue to monitor open positions, as new opportunities are posted daily. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive information about featured openings
You will receive a short orientation upon arrival to your country of service. Technical and language training is minimal; it is expected that you already possess the skills needed to successfully complete your assignment.
Assignment extensions are based on the needs of the host partner organization. There's a formal approval process, which is managed by the country director. Visit Peace Corps Response to learn about positions needed now.
Peace Corps Response Volunteers accrue a readjustment allowance of $450 for each month of service completed.
The Peace Corps takes Volunteer safety and security very seriously and every single Volunteer receives extensive training to reduce risks as much as possible. To find out more about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety, check out the Health & Safety section of the website, read Peace Corps' Annual Statistical Report of Crimes Against Volunteers [PDF], or review country-specific sections on preparing to Volunteer.
Staying in Touch
All Peace Corps Coverdell fellows are required to complete an internship in an underserved American community within the U.S. Because of the U.S. government's relationship with some other countries, an internship abroad may satisfy the requirement. Go to the Office of Insular Affairs at the Department of the Interior for a list of included jurisdictions.