Know your rights November: Christmas Bonus

Know your rights November 2021

Question 1: Christmas Bonus

I am getting a social welfare payment. Will I get a Christmas Bonus this year?

The Christmas Bonus is paid to people getting a long-term social welfare payment. In 2021, it is 100% of your normal weekly payment and it will be paid in the week beginning 6 December.

The minimum Christmas Bonus payment is €20.

You get a Christmas Bonus, if you are getting one of the following payments:

  • Back to Education Allowance – people coming from jobseeker’s payments need to be getting the Allowance for at least 12 months (312 days), but you may be able to use time on a jobseekers payment to help you qualify
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance – people coming from jobseeker’s payments need to be getting the Allowance for at least 12 months (312 days), but you may be able to use time on a  jobseekers payment to help you qualify
  • Back to Work Family Dividend
  • Benefit payment for 65 year olds
  • Blind Pension
  • Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit (including half-rate Carer’s Allowance)
  • Community Employment (CE) schemes
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) for 12 months (312 days)
  • Deserted Wife’s Allowance and Benefit
  • Daily Expenses Allowance, formerly called Direct Provision Allowance for 12 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
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance for 12 months (312 days)
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional payment
  • Magdalene Laundry Payment
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Partial Capacity Benefit
  • Rural Social Scheme
  • State Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance for 12 months
  • Tús
  • VTOS Allowance for people coming from jobseeker’s payments. You must have been getting the Allowance for at least 15 months, but you may be able to use time on a jobseeker payment to help you qualify
  • Widow, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)

Fuel Allowance is not a qualifying payment for the Christmas Bonus as it is an extra payment and not a long-term social welfare payment.

If you are getting Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit or PUP, you get a Christmas Bonus if you have been getting your payment (or a combination of these payments) for at least 312 days.

If you are getting Domiciliary Care Allowance, the bonus is 100% of your weekly rate and will be paid on 21 December.

If you are getting 2 eligible social welfare payments, you get a Christmas Bonus for both payments.

For more information on the Christmas Bonus, go to citizensinformation.ie: https://bit.ly/3dfUHsx

Question 2: Extra social welfare benefits

What are extra social welfare benefits?

If you get a weekly social welfare payment, you may be able to get extra benefits. The benefits you qualify for depend on your personal circumstances. You get some extra benefits because of your age, or because you are getting a certain social welfare payment or you have passed a means-test. In a means test the Department of Social Protection examines your income. To pass a means test, your income must be below a certain amount.

Some common extra benefits are:

Fuel Allowance

This weekly payment paid during the winter months to people getting long-term social welfare payments helps you with the cost of heating your home.

Household Benefits Package

This monthly payment helps with household bills such as electricity or gas and your TV licence. It is paid to everyone over 70 and to some people under that age.

Free Travel Scheme

If you are 66 or over, you do not have to pay for public transport. Some people under 66 can qualify too.

Living Alone Increase

If you are over 66, getting a State or Widow’s pension and you live alone, you can get an increase in your social welfare payment. Some people under 66 also qualify

Telephone Support Allowance

If you get the Living Alone Increase and Fuel Allowance, you may get this allowance.

Island Increase

If you live on a specified island off the coast of Ireland, you may get an increase in your social welfare payment.

Find out more about extra social welfare benefits on citizensinformation.ie:

You can get further information by contacting:

  • Bray CIC on 0818 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm New telephone number
  • Make an appointment by telephoning Bray CIC on 0818 07 6780
  • Email Bray CIC at bray@citinfo.ie – anytime
  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0818 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm)

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