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What is the Christmas bonus for welfare recipients and am I eligible?

The bonus will be paid in the coming weeks.

In this year’s Budget, Minister Paschal Donohoe announced that a Christmas bonus of 85% would be paid to recipients of a long-term Social Welfare payment.

Who gets the Christmas bonus?

If you receive any of the following payments you’ll get the bonus:

  • State Pensions and Widow’s/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pensions.
  • Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Guardian’s payments.
  • Long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Transition Payment, One-Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit and Allowance and Farm Assist.
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, TÚS, Gateway and Job Initiative.

In some cases, you’ll need to have been receiving the benefit for a set amount of time before you receive the Christmas bonus. If you’re in any doubt, you can contact your local Social Protection office to double-check.

When will I get the bonus?

If you normally receive weekly social welfare payments, you’ll get the bonus along with your normal payment in the week beginning 27 November.

If you usually get a monthly payment, the bonus will be paid along with the payment in December.

How much will I get for the Christmas bonus?

The Christmas bonus is 85% of your usual payment.

This means that if you’re over 26 and receive Jobseeker’s Allowance, you should get €164.05 on top of your normal payment. Meanwhile, if you get the State Pension, you should receive €202.55 on top of the regular €238.30.

Exact amounts will be confirmed by the Department of Social Protection soon. In total, €219 million will be paid out under this scheme in 2017.

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