What is the Christmas Bonus?
The Christmas Bonus is an extra payment for people getting a long-term social welfare payment.
You do not need to apply for the Bonus, if you qualify you’ll automatically get it.
When is the Christmas Bonus paid?
A Christmas Bonus of 100% will be paid during the week beginning 4 December 2023 to people getting a qualifying social welfare payment (see below).
If you are getting Illness Benefit for 12 months or more, the payment date is different – you will receive the Christmas Bonus between 5 December 2023 and 22 December 2023.
The Bonus is normally paid with your social welfare payment.
Once-off double week in January 2024
A once-off double week for all weekly qualifying social welfare payments will be paid in the week beginning 29 January 2024. Payments that qualify for the Christmas Bonus will qualify for the once-off double week.
Who gets a Christmas Bonus?
A Christmas Bonus is paid to people getting long-term social welfare payments. You will only get the Christmas Bonus if your payment is €20 or more.
You are paid a Christmas Bonus if you are getting:
- 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 your time on your jobseeker’s 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 jobseeker’s 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
- Deserted Wife's Allowance and Deserted Wife's Benefit
- Daily Expenses Allowance, formerly called Direct Provision Allowance for 12 months
- Disability Allowance
- Disablement Benefit
- Domiciliary Care Allowance
- Farm Assist
- Guardian's Payment (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
- Illness Benefit for 12 months or more (will be paid between 5 December 2023 and 22 December 2023)
- Invalidity Pension
- Job Initiative Scheme
- Jobseeker's Allowance for 12 months (312 days or more)
- Jobseeker's Transitional payment
- Magdalene Commission Scheme
- Death Benefit Scheme (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Partial Capacity Benefit
- Rural Social Scheme
- State Pension (Contributory) and State Pension (Non-Contributory)
- Supplementary Welfare Allowance for 12 months (364 days or more)
- Widow, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
- Work Placement Experience Programme
Fuel Allowance is not a qualifying payment for the Christmas Bonus.
How much is the Christmas Bonus?
If an Increase for a Qualified Adult is paid directly to your dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, the Christmas Bonus is also paid directly to them.
If you are getting 2 eligible social welfare payments (for example, a One-Parent Family Payment and the Domiciliary Care Allowance or a half-rate Carer’s Allowance as well as your primary payment) you will get the Christmas Bonus for both payments.
For Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), which is paid monthly, the bonus is 100% of the weekly DCA rate. The DCA portion of the bonus is calculated independently of other payments.