Find the most recent information on the 2018 Christmas Bonus Here
Below is the Information from 2016:
A Christmas Bonus will be paid out to most eligible welfare and pension recipients along with their normal weekly payment during the week beginning November 28th 2016.
People doing part time work and getting Jobseekers Allowance will usually get any bonus in the week commencing 5th Dec.
Anyone getting monthly payments will get any bonus due in their December payment.
An 85% 2016 Christmas Bonus for Social Welfare and Pensions was confirmed in Budget 2017 back in October . This is an increase from 2015 when the bonus was 75% of the weekly payment.)
(There will also be a “double week” of welfare and pension payments for many people just before Christmas . See the details of the Christmas Double Payment Arrangements Here )
About 1.3 million people will benefit from the Christmas Bonus (almost 890,000 recipients and an estimated 400,000 dependents) . Around €225 million will be paid out . It will be useful for all the extra expenses at Christmas time. (In the UK the Christmas Bonus is just £10)
See the long list at the end of the article for all the benefits that are eligible for the Christmas Bonus 2016
Some Sample Figures for the Christmas Bonus 2016 (based on 85%)
Single Pensioner (Contributory) – Weekly Pension = €233.30 . Bonus of €198.30
Pensioner Couple – Weekly payment = €442.30. Bonus will be €376
Jobseekers Single Person – Weekly payment = €188. Bonus will be €160 .
Jobseekers – Couple + 2 children. Weekly payment = €372.40. Bonus will be €316.50
You will get 85% of your normal weekly payment. If you are not on the full rate for any reason – you will only get 85% of the rate you are paid.
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 Allowance
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
Carer’s Allowance and Benefit
Deserted Wife’s Allowance and Benefit
Disablement Pension and Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension under the Occupational Injuries Scheme
Domiciliary Care Allowance (85% of the weekly amount – more details below)
Guardian’s Payment (Contributory) and (Non-Contributory)
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
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 get the bonus.
Survivors of Thalidomide who get payments from the Department of Health will also get the Christmas Bonus in 2016.
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.
The Christmas Bonus calculation does not include Fuel Allowance or Rent Allowance.
Note : The cut off date used by Social Welfare to work out if someone has been on Jobsekers etc for 15 months (where applicable) is usually a date in the last week of November. In 2014 it was Nov 26th.
Note that 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 DCA for one child 85% of the weekly payment will be €60.70. The DCA bonus will be in the December payment (Probably around 15th Dec).
If you are getting more than one 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 in respect of all payments.
History of the Christmas Welfare Bonus
The Christmas bonus payment for welfare recipients and pensioners was first introduced in December 1980 as a 100% bonus, and continued at that level until 1984. The Christmas bonus was reduced to 75% in 1985 by the Labour-Fine Gael coalition and further reduced by them to 65% in 1986. The Fiánna Fail-Progressive Democrat coalition increased this to 70% from 1989.
In 200o it was increased to 100% by Fianna Fail until it was removed in 2009 by Fianna Fail / Greens. It was restored to 25% by Fine Gael/ Labour in 2014 and in 2015 it was increased to 75%.