Christmas Bonus

Introduction

The Christmas Bonus is an extra payment for people who are getting a long-term social welfare payment. It will be paid in late November or early December in 2017.

The Christmas Bonus will be 85% of your normal weekly payment.

Rules

In 2017, the Christmas Bonus will be paid to people getting the following payments:

  • Back to Education Allowance (people coming from jobseeker's payments must have been on their payment and/or BTEA for 15 months)
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
  • Back to Work Family Dividend
  • Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (long-term only - 15 months (over 390 days))
  • Blind Pension
  • Carer's Allowance and Benefit (including half-rate Carer's Allowance)
  • Community Employment
  • Deserted Wife's Allowance and Benefit
  • Disability Allowance
  • Disablement Pension and Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Scheme
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Gateway
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Job Initiative
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (long-term only - 15 months (over 390 days of unemployment))
  • Jobseeker's Transitional payment
  • Magdalen Laundry Payment
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Partial Capacity Benefit
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance
  • Rural Social Scheme
  • State Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
  • Tús
  • VTOS (people coming from jobseeker's payments must have been on their payment and/or VTOS for 15 months)
  • Widow, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)

For Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) or Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (BSWA), you must be getting the payment for 15 months to get a Christmas Bonus. However, if you were getting another payment eligible for the Christmas Bonus immediately before claiming JA or BSWA, and your combined time on eligible payments is 15 months, you will get the Christmas Bonus.

It will be paid to certain people getting a Further Education and Training (FET) training allowance, (people coming from jobseeker's payments must have been on their payment and/or training allowance for 15 months).

Note that for Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) which is paid monthly the bonus is 85% of the weekly payment. The DCA portion of the Bonus is calculated independently of other payments. So, for example, if you were getting full-rate DCA for one child, 85% of the weekly payment is €60.70.

The Christmas Bonus is also paid to people getting Blind Welfare Allowance, Mobility Allowance, and rehabilitative training allowances from the HSE. Survivors of Thalidomide who get payments from the Department of Health also get the bonus.

Rates

In 2017 the Christmas Bonus is 85% of your normal weekly payment (including the Living Alone Increase, the Island Allowance and the Over-80 Increase). The Christmas Bonus does not include Fuel Allowance. The minimum Christmas Bonus payment is €20.

If an Increase for a Qualified Adult is paid directly to your dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, the Christmas Bonus will also be paid directly to them.

If you are getting 2 eligible social welfare payments (for example, a One-Parent Family Payment and the Domiciliary Care Allowance or a half-rate Carer’s Allowance as well as your primary payment) you will get the Christmas Bonus in respect of both payments.

Further information

Christmas Bonus 2016

The Christmas Bonus was 85% of the normal weekly payment (including the Living Alone Increase, the Island Allowance and the Over-80 Increase) with a minimum payment of €20. The Christmas Bonus did not include Fuel Allowance.

Page edited: 17 November 2017