The Christmas Bonus is an extra payment for people getting a long-term social welfare payment. It is usually paid in late November or early December.
The Christmas Bonus is 100% of your normal weekly social welfare payment (the minimum payment is €20).
Can I get a Christmas Bonus?
In 2019, people getting the following payments will get a Christmas Bonus:
- 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 455 days)
- Blind Pension
- Carer's Allowance and Benefit (including half-rate Carer's Allowance)
- Community Employment
- Deserted Wife's Allowance and Benefit
- Daily Expenses Allowance, formerly called Direct Provision Allowance (long-term only - 15 months)
- 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
- 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
- Magdalene Laundry Payment
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Partial Capacity Benefit
- Rural Social Scheme
- State Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
- 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)
You must have been getting Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) or basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) for 15 months to get a Christmas Bonus. However, if you were getting another payment that is eligible for the Christmas Bonus immediately before claiming JA or basic SWA, and your combined time on both eligible payments is 15 months, you get the Christmas Bonus.
The Christmas Bonus 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 100% of the weekly payment. The DCA portion of the bonus is calculated independently of other payments. So, for example, if you are getting full-rate DCA for one child, 100% of the weekly payment is €77.38.
The Christmas Bonus is also paid to people getting Blind Welfare Allowance, Mobility Allowance, and rehabilitative training allowance from the HSE. Survivors of Thalidomide who get payments from the Department of Health also get the bonus.
How much is the Christmas Bonus?
In 2019, the Christmas Bonus is 100% 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 is also 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 get the Christmas Bonus for both payments.