Christmas Bonus


The Christmas Bonus is an extra payment for people getting a long-term social welfare payment.

The Christmas Bonus is 100% of your normal weekly long-term social welfare payment (the minimum payment is €20).

The Christmas Bonus 2020 will also be paid to people getting the COVID-Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and jobseeker’s payments for at least 17 weeks since March. The 17 weeks do not have to be consecutive.

The bonus will be paid during the week beginning 7 December 2020.

Can I get a Christmas Bonus?

In 2020, people getting the following payments will get a Christmas Bonus:

  • Back to Education Allowance (people coming from jobseeker's payments need to be 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
  • Gateway
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Job Initiative
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (for at least 4 months)
  • Jobseeker's Transitional payment
  • Magdalene Laundry Payment
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Partial Capacity Benefit
  • 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)

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.

Christmas Bonus 2020 and PUP

People getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and jobseeker’s payments will get the Christmas Bonus in 2020. To qualify, you must be getting your payment for at least 1 day in the benefit week that begins on Friday 27 November 2020 and ends on Thursday 3 December 2020. In addition one of the following must apply:

  • You have been getting the payment without any breaks since 7 August 2020 or before
  • You have been getting the payment for 17 weeks in total (weeks do not have to be consecutive) since March 2020

This means you may still qualify for the Christmas Bonus if you have had a break in your payment because, for example, you temporarily returned to work.

How much is the Christmas Bonus?

In 2020, the Christmas Bonus will be 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.

Page edited: 26 November 2020