Christmas Bonus 2018 : Pensions and Welfare

As confirmed in Budget 2019 on 9th October – A 2018 Christmas Bonus of 100% will be paid.

Last year (2017) – the Christmas bonus was 85% of the normal weekly rate. This year it will be increased back to 100% .  The cost of a paying a 100% Bonus  in 2018 is estimated at €265 million . By comparison – the total reductions in income tax and USC  for all of 2019 will come to a total of €291 million )

Payments of the annual Christmas Bonus for Pensioners and Welfare claimants will be paid to about 1.3 million people in 2017. (900,000 recipients and an estimated 400,000 dependents).  A total of about €265 million Euro will be paid in 2018.

Christmas Bonus Payment Date : –

The 2018 bonus is expected to be paid out to the majority of eligible people along with their normal weekly payments between  December 3rd  2018 and Dec 7th 2018.

The minimum Christmas Bonus payment is €20 .

(Note: The Christmas bonus should not be confused with the annual  “double week” of welfare and pension payments  just before Christmas . This is where one week’s payment is made in advance because of bank and post office closures.). The “double” payment will be made in the week beginning December 17th 2018. There will be no payments in the following week.

If you are in Northern Ireland or other parts of the UK looking for information about the UK Christmas Bonus … it is just £10 per person. (tax free !).

History of the Christmas Bonus in Ireland : –

The Christmas bonus payment for welfare recipients and pensioners was first introduced in December 1980 as a 100% bonus, and it continued at that level until 1984.
In 1985 the bonus was reduced to 75% in 1985 by the Labour-Fine Gael coalition and reduced again by them to 65% in 1986.
The Fiánna Fail-PD coalition increased it to 70% in 1989.
In 2000 the bonus was increased to 100% by Fianna Fail until it was removed completely in 2009 by Fianna Fail / Greens.
The bonus was restored to 25% by Fine Gael/ Labour in 2014 and it was increased to 75% in 2016 and again to 85% in 2017 .

The bonus is back up to 100% in 2018.

List of Pensions and Benefits that are eligible for the Christmas Bonus – see below :

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
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 2018.

Payment of the Christmas Bonus will be made to certain participants of Community Employment, Back to Education, Rural Social Scheme, Gateway, Tus and the Back to Work Family Dividend

It will  also be sent to most participants on Further Education and Training courses funded by SOLAS.  (claimants mst have been getting jobseeker’s payment and/or the  training allowance for 15 months)

Payment of a Christmas Bonus is not made on the Fuel Allowance or Rent Allowance.


The Christmas bonus will not be paid to anyone who is not getting one of the payments listed above.
FIS  / Working Family Payment is not eligible, nor is Illness Benefit or Maternity Benefit .
Please do not ask us why – we don’t set the rules.

9 thoughts on “Christmas Bonus 2018 : Pensions and Welfare

  1. I recently split from my partner and he was claiming whole family for me and I am now on loan parent am I eligible for the Christmas bonus

    • Yes you get it on one parent family no matter how long your claiming just not jobs seeker’s

  2. Hi im just wondering I was on jobseekers for just 21months and then had to go on supplementary wa and ill be going back onto jobseekers in a week or so. Will i be eligable for the Christmas bouns.

  3. Hi my daughter is in college and my payment for her was stopped she still lives at home and is not working can you tell me if om entilted to anything for her as she is in college she dosent get the dole but does get a grant paid monthly im a lone parent so only getting money for my son and im just wondering can i apply for money for her as well

    • Yes if your on SW your entitled to claim child dependant it about €30 per wk, you have to get the form signed by the college,

  4. Hi, I’m getting long time Jobseekers Allowance ( more than 2 years ). From November I will start Heavy Goods Vehicle – Artic Driving course ( full day course ) – 12 weeks long. The FET ( Further Education Training) is provided by WWETB ( Waterford Wexford Education Training Boards ). The will be pay my Jobseekers Allowance and Fuel Allowance.
    Do I eligible for Christmas Bonus ?

    I ask because I had problems to get Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance when I was on this same course ( HGV – Rigid ).

      • Thank you for quick answer and website link.
        My fears are because I get Back to School Clothing Allowance after second Application. First Application was send when I was on course and their opinion was negative. Second Application I was send when course finished and I was back on Jobseekers Allowance.
        Rules on Citizensinformation website are clear for me ( I should get Christmas Bonus ) but this same rules are for BSCFA and I had problems.

  5. I am currently on an ETB office administration course. Am I entitled to the Christmas bonus?

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