Know Your Rights: The Social Welfare Christmas Bonus

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

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

Answer: The Christmas Bonus is paid to people getting a long-term social welfare payment. Long-term social welfare payments include the following:

• State Pensions and Widow’s/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pensions

• Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Guardian’s Payments

• Jobseeker’s Transitional payment, One-Parent Family Payment, Farm Assist, Deserted Wife’s Benefit and Allowance

• Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance and Job Initiative

• Back to Education Allowance (BTEA), VTOS and Further Education and Training (FET) training allowance (people coming from jobseeker’s payments must have been on their payment and/or BTEA or VTOS or FET training allowance for 15 months)

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For Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) or Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (BSWA), you must be getting the payment for 15 months to get a Christmas Bonus.

However, if you were getting another payment eligible for the Christmas Bonus immediately before claiming JA or BSWA, and your combined time on the eligible payments is 15 months, you will get the Christmas Bonus.

In 2017, the Christmas Bonus will be 85% of your normal weekly payment (including the Living Alone Increase, the Island Allowance and the Over-80 Increase).

Fuel Allowance is not included when calculating the Christmas Bonus. The minimum Christmas Bonus payment is €20.

For Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), which is paid monthly, the bonus is 85% of the weekly payment. The DCA portion of the bonus is calculated independently of other payments. So, for example, if you are getting full-rate DCA for one child, 85% of the weekly payment is €60.70.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, Killorglin 0761 07830 & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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