Christmas Bonus 2017 – Welfare and Pensions

As announced in Budget 2018 – A 2017 Christmas Bonus will be paid out again this year to eligible welfare and state pension recipients . The 2017 bonus of 85% will be paid to the majority of people along with their normal weekly payments  during the week beginning November 27th 2017.

Those people doing part time work and getting Jobseekers Allowance will usually get any Christmas Bonus in the following week (commencing 4th Dec.)

Anyone getting monthly payments will get any Christmas bonus due in their normal December payment.
If you are getting 2 eligible social welfare payments  you will get the Christmas Bonus in respect of both payments.

(Note: There will also be the usual “double week” of welfare and pension payments  just before Christmas .
More details about the double payment week here


About 1.3 million people  will benefit from the Christmas Bonus  (almost 900,000 recipients and an estimated 400,000 dependents) . Around €219 million Euro  will be paid out .

See the list at the end of the article for all the state pensions/benefits that are eligible for the Christmas Bonus 2017


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Some Sample Figures for the Christmas Bonus 2017

Single Pensioner (Contributory)  – Weekly Pension =  €238.30  . Christmas Bonus of €202.60
Pensioner Couple – Weekly payment = €451.80. Bonus will be  €384.10
Jobseekers  Single Person – Weekly payment = €193.  Bonus will be €164.10
Jobseekers – Couple + 2 children. Weekly payment =  €380.70. Bonus will be €323.60

You will get 85% of your normal weekly payment.
If you are not on the full weekly rate for any reason –  you will only get 85% of the actual rate you are paid.
(Christmas Bonus is paid on the  the Living Alone Increase, the Island Allowance and the Over-80 Increase).
The Christmas Bonus is not paid on the Fuel Allowance or Rent Allowance.

The minimum Christmas Bonus payment is €20 .


The following payment types are eligible for the Christmas Bonus in Ireland…

Back to Education Allowance (people coming from Jobseeker’s payments must have been on their payment and/or BTEA for 15 months)
Back to Work Family Dividend
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
Blind Pension
Carer’s Allowance and Benefit
Community Employment
Deserted Wife’s Allowance and Benefit
Disability Allowance
Disablement Pension
Domiciliary Care Allowance (85% of the weekly amount )
Farm Assist
Gateway
Guardian’s Payment (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
Invalidity Pension
Job Initiative
JobBridge (people coming from jobseeker’s payments must have been on their payment and/or JobBridge for 15 months)
Jobseeker’s Allowance (long-term only – over 390 days or 15 months unemployed on JB/JA)
Jobseeker’s Allowance (Transition)
Magdalen Laundry Payments
One-Parent Family Payment
Partial Capacity Benefit
Pre-Retirement Allowance
Rural Social Scheme
State Pension (Contributory), (Non-Contributory) and (Transition)
Supplementary Welfare Allowance (only – over 391 days or 15 months)
Widow, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
VTOS (people coming from jobseeker’s payments must have been on their payment and/or VTOS for 15 months)


People getting Blind Welfare Allowance, Mobility Allowance, and rehabilitative training allowances from the HSE  will also get the bonus.
Survivors of Thalidomide who get payments from the Department of Health will also get the Christmas Bonus in 2017.

The Christmas Bonus is also being paid to certain participants of Community Employment, Back to Education, Rural Social Scheme, Gateway, Tus and the Back to Work Family Dividend

It is also paid to most participants on Further Education and Training courses funded by SOLAS.  (you must have been getting your jobseeker’s payment and/or your training allowance for 15 months)

If you are not getting one of the payments listed – then you won’t get the Christmas bonus.
FIS is not eligible, nor is Illness Benefit or Maternity Benefit .  Please do not ask us why – we don’t set the rules.

147 thoughts on “Christmas Bonus 2017 – Welfare and Pensions

  1. I’m on jobseekers benefit since 22nd of dec 2016 having retired from work. I get my pension starting 24th nov 2017.Am I entitled to a christmas bonus this christmas.

    • There is a cut off date for determining eligibility for the bonus – and you might not be classed as a pensioner on the cut off date -which will probablybe mid November. You might also miss out because you will not have been on Jobseekers long enough. Next year !

      • Is basic benefits getting the bonus this year as a friend of mine didn’t get it last year

    • I am getting contributy pension since july and am still employed temporary do iget bonus

    • hello my nephew did not get CHRISTMAS bonus today he IS out of prison and on jobseekers since oct 2016 never got last year WAS TOLD WOULD GET THIS YEAR CAN HE APPEAL THIS HE HAS NOT HAD ANY WORK SINCE RELESEE DATE

      • Your nephew might not get the bonus – he needs to have been on jobseekers for 15 months to get it.

  2. Juliet Cristina Horvat. Hi! I’m on jobskeers I can know if I get the Christmas bonus because I did not get past years. Thank you !

      • Hi am on jobseekers allowance since may 2017 but I was on one parent family payment for the past year’s so it mean I was unemployed more then 3 years I want to know if am in title to get Christmas bonus I did get it last year on one parent family payment but what about this year

      • Wondering same position as dannI in this message list I was on one parent family with two children now myself and partner who was previously on jobseekers allowance we both claim as a couple with two children on job seekers allowance the claim was changed to this in march . Thanks

      • Danni
        Just found this
        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 that is eligible for the Christmas Bonus immediately before claiming JA or BSWA, and your combined time on eligible payments is 15 months, you will get the Christmas Bonus.

      • ali should be getting €261.80 and not € 65, sorry money guide ur calculations for this person are inaccurate

      • The figures we gave are correct Mary. The Xmas bonus is calculated on the WEEKLY amount , not the monthly amount. Thank for your help – but you are wrong.

  3. I was in college last year with btea and didnt receive christmas bonus. But now i am in my 2nd year of college on btea. Will i receive christmas bonus this year?

  4. Also can you explain the education allowance and who is eligible for this. Thank you.

  5. Hi. I was just wondering if I would be entitled to Christmas bonus this year. I had to go over to England as a close relative was taken I’ll. Was in September 2016 for 3 months and Aug to October of this year. Was on jobeseekers benefit for 2 years. Wasn’t in employment just wondering how it works. Thank you.

  6. I was on a tus scheme last year and qualified for the Christmas bonus
    But it finished the first week of January and I have been claiming jsa since. Do I qualify?

    • Yes if u where on a scheme qualified for the bonus right before your new claim wich is also eligible for the bonus the combined time will be overy 15 months so you will be eligible for the bonus

  7. I’m worried I won’t get anything this year. I was on Turas Nua and was sent on a course in March, but had to leave in May. Since then, I’ve been getting medical certificates from my doctor, and supplementary welfare allowance. I applied for Disability Allowance. I haven’t been in employment in 2015, so I’m not sure what I’m entitled to this Christmas?

      • If you got it last year and have been on Turas Nua and the Supplementary welfare since then – then you will probably get it . Best thing might be to ask at your local Dept of Social Protection .

  8. Im due to finish my community employment the 17th of this mth so i will be going back to jobseekers does that mean i will miss out on the xmas bonus

    • I was on careers allowance for 6 years but I’m on jobseekers now will I get the Xmas bonus

    • Yes same thing happened to me last year when I finished my ce scheme i was on for 2yrs I didn’t get it becuase was not unemployed long enough but when I went in and explained my employment was on a ce scheme and i recieved the bonus on the ce scheme the lady in intreo office told me she’d look into it and then phoned me that evening to tell me that people on ce schemes and have finished ce schemes will receive the payment. If you don’t get it u must be persistent. If you don’t ask you won’t get.

  9. Hi. My partner was on jobseekers. In january he moved in with us and his kids we now have another which makes 3. Anyway when he added all.of us to his claim would it have opened as a new claim. Basically will we be entitled to the bonus?

  10. @Money Guide I’ve been on supplementary welfare allowance since June of this year. I finished my course in May, after being with Turas Nua. But I was on Jobseekers since 2015, it is only January I was put on Turas Nua, then left the course in May, and SWA in June. So I read it was 15 months you had to be on it. So I’m not sure, and it is very distressing coming up this close to December and money being extremely tight.

  11. Hi I will be starting the tus scheme 20th November. Will I be eligible for the bonus??

  12. Hi. I finished 2 years on ce scheme and went on to jobseeker benefit few weeks ago.wud I be entitled to the bonus?

  13. Hi. I’m currently on tus scheme and due to finish up in two weeks, will I b entitled to Christmas bonus, I will be signing back on jobseekers by end of november

    • I received it last year with tus , but unsure about this year as will only b after signing back on

  14. Hello, i have been on jobseeker alowance since 2015 but from april of this year am on care alowance will i get christmas bonus please??

  15. My bf for last few is on Illness Benefit of €120 and also gets topped up by the community welfare officer of €60 called Supplementary Allowance.
    I know illness benefit dosent qualify but he also gets supplementary allowance which does qualify. I’d appreciate any info or advise ,the local welfare officer isn’t very informative to him.
    Thank you

  16. Hi, my partner was on long-term JSA until May 2016 when he was sent on a Tus course. We received the Xmas bonus that year. His Tus finished around May 2017 and he went back on JSA. Will we be entitled to the Xmas bonus this year because had he not been sent to do the Tus course his claim would never have been interrupted. So what’s the criteria needed to receive the Xmas bonus having finished a Tus course. Thanks

  17. Hi I have 2 kids am on jobseekers for 12 months just finished college am I entitled to xmas bonus

  18. Hi i have one questionI am pregnant and I am seek from August and I will be on that to the end January 2018 so I will be have some bonus from Social Welfare can u answer please.Thank u

    • Emillia – from what you say – it looks like you will not be entitled to any Christmas Bonus.

  19. hi just wondering we are claiming fis and family income supplement we have 3 kids do you get the Xmas bonus or any extra payments over Xmas thanks

  20. Hi dee. I went to disability benefit since march 2017 am I entitled to Christmas bonus for 2017

  21. My son will be sixteen in Dec, and his domiciliary stops as does my single parent allowance, just wondering if we qualify for a Christmas bonus Mary

  22. Hi

    I have recently changed from FIS To JST in September of this year . Would I be entitled to the bonus I see beside some payments it says (long term) but not all. I’m assuming no?

  23. I’m on x and o system but been considered as a job seeker still.. been on x and o since April 2016 will I get the bonus this year?

  24. Hi I am on job seekers since late November last year and before that I was on supplement welfare for 6 months . Do I apply for the Christmas bonus

  25. My partner was on tuas nua until a few months ago. He is now on illness certificates. Is he entitled to the Christmas bonus this year. Thank you.

  26. On jobseekers since the 16 th of September 2016 will I be entitled to the bonus please

  27. My partner has been in receipt of jobseekers allowance for over 15 months. He has been claiming for myself and our baby since July
    Will he get the bonus for the amount he receives for all 3 of us, or will he receive a bonus for his normal €193

  28. Hi I’m getting fis and also getting back to work family dividened will i.be entitled to Xmas bonus this year

  29. Hi I was on jobseekers allowance since 2013. I then found work through taurus nua. I’m now back in jobseekers allowance since August.. My question is will I be eligible for the Christmas bonus?

  30. I was on Jobseekers for 4 years until a C.E scheme last year, I got my bonus then but that ended in February this year and I’m went back onto Jobseekers, Will I get it do you know??

  31. Hi grtting fis and family dividended will i be entitled to xmas bonus an if i am how will it be divided thanks

  32. Im on one parent family and fis but my child turns 7 last of November and I will no longer be on one parent family so will I get the bonus

  33. I have been on jobseekers for a couple years now and I am currently on the tús scheme have been for 4 months now ….am I entitled to the christmas bonus

    • The bonus is also paid to most participants on Further Education and Training courses funded by SOLAS. (you must have been getting your jobseeker’s payment and/or your training allowance for 15 months)

  34. I’m guessing I won’t be getting a Christmas Bonus since I’ve only been supplement welfare since August 😡

  35. I was on jobseekers casual work and went on maternity leave in jan till july I am now back on casual work and jobseekers since July its the very same claim will I get xmas bonus.I heard u can break your claim for up to 24 weeks which that was the amount of maternity I took..thank you

    • We can’t answer specific queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry.

      • The increases that were announced in the Budget were always scheduled for the end of March . This should still happen unless legislation is delayed because of an election.

  36. Hi myself and my partner are currently on job seekers allowance claiming together with two children
    I was previously on ome parent family
    Partner was previously on jsa
    But we now both claim jsa together as well as for out 2 children
    We changed to jsa together in march this year
    Would wE still be classed as long term job seekers as neither of us have had a job at any point since we where 18 also we are attending job path it’s to help us find work but still claiming job seekers allowance
    . Our money is devidedicated between both our cards and total of 373 per week
    We will be entitled to the bonus

  37. I was with VTOS for 2 years and i got christmas bonus last year, I went back to jobseekers allawance on June will I get christmas bonus?

  38. Hi I was on job seekers a year I was then put on tus programme for three months but a place in vtos came up in Sept and I had to go back on jobseekers to do the course would I be intilted to bonus or would they only take in to consideration I started in Sept

    • We can’t answer specific queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry.

    • Quote from the Minister
      ” A person who participated in a National Learning Network (NLN) or other Solas/ETB training course and is in receipt of JA for a minimum of 391 days in the relevant week of the Bonus payment will automatically qualify for and receive the Bonus.
      People with less than 391 days duration on JA may be entitled for the bonus if they have 15 months duration in total on eligible payments or schemes (including NLN courses). The time spent on the training course will be taken into account when determining eligibility for the Bonus.

      As it is not possible to identify these cases automatically through the Department’s IT systems, it is necessary to deal with each case on an individual basis. In this regard, affected JA recipients should go to their Intreo office in order to establish their entitlement to a bonus payment. It should be noted that it is not possible for the Department to establish entitlement for the bonus in these cases until the first week of December.

  39. Hi im just wondering im I entitled to the christmas bonus this year.. I worked sept 2016 – the end of oct 2016 before that I was on job seekers allowance and went back on the live register in november after the job cus it didnt work out

    • We can’t answer specific queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry. But it is unlikely you will get a bonus.

  40. Hi I’m in receipt of disability allowance and I claim for me him and two kids he also gets Half rate carers allowance will he get bonus on carers allowance and will I get it on disability payment aswel ?

    • Anyone getting 2 eligible social welfare payments will get the Christmas Bonus in respect of both payments.

  41. I took myself off a payment and switched to another payment thats still being processed …does that mean i lose out on the bonus cause its still bein processed ?

    • We can’t answer specific queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry.

  42. I’m on jobpath since September before that I was on JA for a few year. Am I entitled to a bonus this Xmas on jobpath as it does not state jobpath is included??? I got it last Xmas on jobseekers allowance. Thanks

    • Jobpath is not a welfare benefit , it is just a scheme to try and get people back into employment. You must still be getting Jobseekers Allowance – and if you are you will get the bonus.
      Thanks

  43. Hi my name is Chelsea and I am on jobseekers but am entitled to the 193 because i have recently left care I am on jobseekers 9 months and I am wounder if I am entitled to the Xmas bouns with my payment?

    • We can’t answer specific queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry.

  44. Hi last year I was 2days short of 390 days jsa n didn’t get xmas bonus I’ve been on a c e scheme since April but am off work on certs since Sept and receiving supplementary from community welfare officer will I get xmas bonus this year?

    • We can’t answer specific queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry.

  45. I was previously a dependent on a contributory pension for 4 years but have been in receipt of job seekers since august. Will I get Christmas bonus?

    • We can’t answer specific personal queries . You will need to check with Social Welfare. Sorry.

  46. Can you tell me as iv been on illness benefit for past 13yrs why im entitled to nuthing ? No fuel r xmas bonus ? Its disgraceful i fell n hurt my back 13yrs ago now iv heart truble

  47. I started with Turas Nua in August,am i entitled to the Christmas Bonus as im told im not

    • If you are getting Jobseekers Allowance for 15 months or more you should get the bonus.

  48. Ridiculous if you ask me! I lost my job in August and I am now on Job seekers allowance. I won’t recieve it because I will only have been on it for 4 months.. Yet someone who is on it for years etc benefit from it and I dont. It should be the other way around!! (Referring to jobseekers only, not disability etc)

  49. The government really need to change the elegibility for the Christmas bonus. In my opinion, the qualifying period should be 6 months. There are so many people that obviously need it and are missing out on it because of red tape. Yet we are made to feel ashamed about receiving it because of our circumstances.

    I for one shall be asking questions of our politicians when they come door hopping….. perhaps sooner rather than later as things stand atm!

  50. I’m on Jobseekers as a casual worker (Xs and Os) and am entitled to the bonus based on time but what amount will the bonus be based on? 85% of what I’m entitled to if I don’t work that week or 85% of what my payment is that week? If I do happen to work too many days that particular week will that mean that I don’t get the bonus?

    • You need to be getting Jobseekers Allowance (Not Jobseekers Benefit) AND you have must have had at least 390 claim days to get a bonus. (For example if you normally claim 2 days per week – you will need to have been claiming for over 3 years )
      Any bonus won’t be in the payment until week commencing 4/12 as casual claimants are paid a week in arrears.
      As far as I am aware – the bonus is based on the amount of jobseekers allowance paid in the same week as the bonus. (You will need to check this with Social Welfare )

  51. Hi, from mid February 2016 too mid February 2017 I done a TUS scheme and signed back on for job seekers allowance and am on Jobpath since then ( I assume my weekly money is still job seekers allowance ), should I receive the bonus?

  52. Hi,
    Quick question, I was getting jobseekers benefit from August 2016 and then switched to jobseekers allowance in June of this year. I’m guessing jobseekers benefit would not be included in the 15 months needed to qualify for the bonus?

    • You would need to ask Social Welfare about that – please let us know what they say , I am sure there are many others in teh same situation.

  53. Hi I don’t think it far on us long term illness benefits I have been on it now for 7 years and I never get it is it not time long term people on illness benefits get it seem so unfair ! 😥

    • The government / dept of social welfare say that Illness Benefit is a short term payment. Long term sick/disabledd people usually get Disability Benefits.

      • Paula – are you sure you are on Illness Benefit? It is only payable for a maximum of 2 years.

  54. i have been on job seekers allowance since august 2016 an recently moved address from mullingar to athlone will i be intitled to christmas bonus please

  55. Hi I am on disability allowance at reduced rate but work part time. Do I qualify for the Christmas bonus? If so Will I get bonus a week later than everyone else? Thanks

    • Evan – did you read the article?
      Only long term Jobseekers get teh bonus (15 months or more)

  56. Hi like on job seeker payment claiming for partner and child.i started part time work had to sign off and make a new claim beginning Dec. I’m on job seekers. Will I get the Xmas bonus.

  57. Just want to know as if a person who has recently gone on single parent will receive bonus?

    • If you mean One-Parent Family Payment – then you should get the bonus. There is no time restriction on that.

  58. I’m on jobseekers allowance since June but was on vtos for 2 years before that, am I eligible for the Christmas bonus?

  59. Hi I was on jobs seekers for a number of years and then earlier this year I got work for a few months but back on jobs seekers again should I pass for it

  60. Hi i started btwes scheme in september 2015 and finished up in august 2017 just bit less then 2 years i was suppose to do.i received my bonus then when i was on the btwes.just wondering now that im back on jobseekers straight out of been on the btwes will i still receive my bonus this year

  61. How long do you have to be on (DA) disability allowance ? I’m only on this payment from may … but before that was on jobseekers ? Will I get the 85% of 193 in bonus ?

  62. Hy my son gets his first da payment the 29th nov will he get his Xmas bonus as it’s his very first payment with them

    • It depends how good the Social Welfare system is . If he doesn’t get it , maybe he should query it with them.

  63. partner never got her bonus today shes been on jobseekers since last Oct and was on carers right before that for over a year.

  64. Hi
    I just found out I will be getting the DCA with first payment due December. So will I be getting the Christmas bouns aswell or do I need to be getting the DCA a while before entitled to the Christmas bouns.

  65. I’m am job seekers 5 years but got a part time 5 hours a week dor I get a Christmas bonus

    • PArt time workers on Jobseekers should get it next week (it says that in the article)

      • there are some conflicting articles.some are saying part time workers on a social payment and jobseekers get it next week

      • Hi alan – our article states
        ” Those people doing part time work and getting Jobseekers Allowance will usually get any Christmas Bonus in the following week (commencing 4th Dec.)”
        Where are the conflicting articles?

  66. Sorry if already been asked I’m on an ETB course and more than 15months on Jobseekers am i entitled?

  67. I was on Jobseekers until September this year now on contributory pension, Am I due the bonus?

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