What is the Christmas bonus in Ireland?

If you get social welfare payments, you could be entitled to some extra cash this Christmas. Here’s all you need to know about the Christmas bonus in Ireland.

When will the bonus be paid?

The Christmas bonus is an extra payment made before Christmas for anyone on long-term social welfare benefits in Ireland.

The payment is provided to cover some of the additional costs over the festive season.

The Christmas bonus will be paid to everyone who is receiving a qualifying social welfare benefit over €20, in the week beginning 5 December 2022.

How much is it?

This is decided in October each year when the Budget’s announced. It can be part or all of your usual weekly welfare payment.

In 2022, the Christmas Bonus will be 100% of your normal weekly payment. This will be in addition to any increases announced in Budget 2023’s cost of living package.

As part of the new cost of living package:

  • all social welfare payments will increase by €12 for working-age recipients
  • the working Family Payment threshold will increase by €40

If you’re eligible for two social welfare payments, you’ll get the Christmas bonus for both of them.

How is it paid?

It’s paid along with your welfare payment so you’ll get double your usual amount that week.

If your dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant currently gets an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) payment, then they’ll also get the Christmas bonus paid directly to them.

You don’t have to apply for the bonus, if you qualify you’ll automatically get it.

Who is entitled to the bonus?

If you’ve been receiving Jobseeker’s Payments for twelve months or more, you’ll qualify for the bonus.

Some other examples of qualifying welfare payments for the Christmas bonus include:

  • Back to education allowance
  • State pension - contributory and non contributory
  • Disability allowance
  • Invalidity pension
  • Back to work family dividend
  • One parent family payment
  • Farm Assist
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance

There are many more qualifying payment types, check here for the full list.

Domiciliary Care Allowance is paid monthly but it’s still just 100% of the weekly amount that you’ll receive for the bonus.

Some payments such as basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance only qualify if you’ve been getting them for 15 months or more.

If you’re getting any type of social welfare payment, it’s worth checking if you qualify.