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.

Budget 2024 Update

This year, as well as the Christmas bonus, social welfare recipients will receive another one-off, double payment in January to help with the cost of living.

There’ll be a double-payment of child benefit before Christmas, and a €400 bonus for families getting Working family payment.

Everyone receiving social welfare payments are set to get an extra €12 per week.

What is the Christmas bonus?

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.

When will the bonus be paid?

The Christmas bonus in 2023 will be paid to people getting a qualifying social welfare payment the week starting Monday 4 December 2023.

You do not need to apply for the Bonus, if you qualify you’ll automatically get it with your welfare payment.

How much is it?

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

In 2023, the Christmas Bonus will be double your normal weekly payment.

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; you’ll get it automatically if you qualify.

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.

Is there any more help for social welfare recipients?

In Budget 2024, the government announced extra social welfare support to cover the cost of living crisis.

In November a raft of lump sum payments were announced for those receiving:

  • Working Family Payment - €400 in November
  • Fuel Allowance - €300 in November
  • Disability Support Grant and Carer Support Grant - €400 in November
  • Living Alone Allowance - €200 end of November
  • Child Benefit - double payment on 5 December
  • All social welfare recipients - double payment on 29 January

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