Welfare Christmas Bonus 2016

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
Blind Pension
Carer’s Allowance and Benefit
Community Employment
Deserted Wife’s Allowance and Benefit
Disability Allowance
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)
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 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%.

242 thoughts on “Welfare Christmas Bonus 2016

  1. Do people on a c e scheme not get Xmas bonus it’s only €20 extra that people get and still have to travel to get to the c e scheme west I’ll have have bills it’s still Xmas time for us two we have dependants as well

    • I was on a CE Scheme last year and i “did” receive a bonus so i would imagine the same would be for this year “so all good” talk to your CE Supervisor she will confirm this for you.

  2. I’m jobseekers allowances at moment got that before how they do the 15 month is from the Frist time you did apply for or from the time you did back to jobseekers

    • If u had a break of more than a year on your JA and weren’t on any type of DSP scheme or course your total number of days starts fresh. If you were off JA for less than a year and signed back on your previous claim can count towards the 15 months

  3. I’ve recently come off a ce scheme and I’m on jobseekers benefit now and I haven’t received the fuel allowance this year but did so on the ce scheme will this mean I won’t get the Christmas bonus either

    • Depending on your circumstances (spouse employed?), you could have and should have been advised to apply for Optional JA when you came off the CE scheme…with optional JA you would also qualify for the fuel allowance, again depending on family circumstances and house hold profile. If u are single or your husband doesn’t work/ receive a pension you should contact DSP and ask about optional JA…you are missing all secondary benefits by receiving JB.

  4. Hi I on disability benefit will I get the bonus this year I didn’t get it any other year

  5. I was on a CE scheme for a year and then went straight into a vtos course will I be eligible for the bonus ….. Also I was on JSA for over 3 years before the scheme .

    • Yes you will be eligible. Ur time on JA and CE will carry to make u eligible. I presume you only did one year on CE?

  6. Is the bonus actually a bonus or is it just a double week where we wont get a payment the following week??

      • Do you get 2 Christmas bonuses if your getting lone parent and domacillary allowance and when is the domacillary bonus paid out

      • 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 were getting DCA for one child 85% of the weekly payment is €60.70. The DCA bonus wil be paid along with your December payment. Lone Parent bonus will be the same as other payments outlined in the article.

  7. I get job seekers allowance every second week as I work week on week off. Will I get Christmas bonus and will it be for a week?

    • If you get Joseekers Benefit (which you probably do if you are working) it is not eligible for the bonus. Jobseekers allowance – is eligible if you have been getting it for 15 months or more.

  8. I am on ce scheme for last six months , before that I was on long term job seekers allowance. Will I receive the additional 5 euro in March 2017. I will still be on ce scheme. Thank you

  9. How does this work if you receive 2 social welfare benefits into the house eg. Carers allowance and domicilary care

  10. How long do you have to be getting domcilary care to receive Christmas bonus

    • I’m pretty sure that there is no time limit. The only time limit is on Jobseekers (15 months)

    • No – as answered to others , FIS is not eligible for the Christmas Bonus. It never has been.

      • I was on opf until aug not.on it.anymore.but.I am in receipt.would.I recevie it. Also ive applied community school scheme would there.be anything with that

      • I have just recently gone onto ilness benefit just this week from being on Job seekers for nearly 2 years does that mean I wont get the christmas bonus even thought I literally just went on it this week?

  11. Been on SWA for a 2 years.Had an op on my hand. As of this week receiving illness benefit. Do I receive the Christmas bonas

    • Us on ill benefit should be instilled to the bonus we are out of work for a reason..

  12. Is disability allowance getting the Xmas bonus an do u has to be on it a certain lenght if time to get it ?? Thanks

  13. I’m receiving widows pension since January. I work full time. Will I get the €5 increase and the Christmas bonus?

  14. Does anyone know how much Disability allowence is being increased to? And How much will you get this year for Christmas bonus?

    • The full rate of Disability allowance is going from €188 to €193 per week – but not till March 2017.
      The Christmas bonus , based on €188 a week , will be €160

    • The official figure for qualifying is 390 “welfare” days – which is 65 full weeks or 15 months (Welfare count a welfare week as 6 days) – so it looks like you won’t qualify.

    • i am on one parent family since june as my patner was claiming for us on jobseekers but went to prison in june i have 3children am i intitled to a christmas bomus

      • Anyone on One Parent Family Benefit will get a bonus – it doesn’t matter how long you have been getting it.

  15. Hi I’m on a Tus work placement does tat mean I will be getting the Xmas bonus ??? Came straight off Jobseeker’s Allowance ????

  16. If my partner was on jsa and is now claiming for my partner and child will he get bonus my partner is working 19 hrs

  17. Assume if you get a monthly payment you only get 85% of the equivalent weekly rate rather than 85% of the monthly rate? Hoping I’m wrong obviously (-;

  18. I was getting one parent family until March 2016, now I`m working part time and getting FIS. In 2015 I was getting one parent family and I got FIS in November 2015 and then I got Christmas bonus in December 2015. Will I get Christmas bonus this year?

  19. Ilness benefit dosn’t qualify for the fuel allowance or Christmas bonus..which is ridiculous.

  20. Hello,
    Im on JA, do you know if i get the christmas week’s payment on the week before(12th of Dec)?
    thanx a lot

    • The Bonus is usually paid in the first week of December – as it states in the article.

      • sorry for the confusion, but i didn’t mean the Bonus, just the usual weekly payment ….if it will be paid earlier. so will i get 2 weeks of payments on the week before christmas? (don’t mean the bonus)

      • Yes – they always pay two weeks in the week before Christmas . This year that is the week beginning 19th Dec – then nothing will be paid in the week beginning 26th Dec.

      • Hi I started off on JB in June 2015 and the went onto JA in April 2016 and been on JA since.Will I qualify for Xmas bonus as I’ve been unemployed for over 16 months? Or will I not as I’ve only been on JA for only 6 months

      • Jobseeker’s Allowance recipients must have been in receipt of their payment for a minimum of 15 months (390 days) in order to qualify for the bonus. Time spent on Jobseeker’s Benefit prior to receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance counts towards the calculation of the 15 month period.

    • The cut off date for calculation of the 390 days is usually in the last week of November – the week before the payout. If this is the same this year , you won’t qualify.

  21. I have been out of work since last December was in JB up to a few weeks ago I’M only getting part payment as my spouse is in a minimum wage job will I qualify for the bonus

    • Hi – as it says in the article – people on Jobseekers have to be getting it for 15 months before they qualify for the Christmas Bonus.

    • Hi I’ve a question. My partner was claiming for me and our baby on job seekers allowence. But the he started working so I claimed for our baby and myself on jobseekers. The he left work due to my personal reasons so I claimed back for him so am I entitled to the bonus?

      • We can’t really go into very specific cases. It might be better to contact the Dept of Social Protectionif you need to find out more.

  22. I’m on a CE scheme but going out on maternity leave the 20th Nov. Will I be entitled to the bonus?

    • We can’t really go into details of specific cases. It might be better to contact the Dept of Social Protectionif you need to find out more.

  23. If disability was suspended and yer on social welfare while waiting on the. Appeal do you qualify?

    • We can’t really go into very specific cases. It might be better to contact the Dept of Social Protection to find out more.

  24. I had been on job seekers transitional payment and working part time. When I finished working I went back onto full payment of job seekers transitional payment. Will this affect me qualifing for the bonus

    • It is unlikely you will get the bonus if you are on Jobseekers Transitional .

      • Why are job seekers transitional payment not receiving this ?? This is a payment set up instead of one parent family once the child turns 7 years old. That is crazy that all other benifits would receive this and parents on this not working are not eligable.

      • Sorry Laura – the previous reply was wrong. Jobseekers (Transition) recipients should qualify for the Christmas bonus . It is on the list and people on it got the bonus last year – so we expect them to qualify again this year. There was no 15 month time limit on it last year either . Sorry for any confusion.
        Social Welfare will have the definite answer (hopefully).

  25. How much is the Christmas bonus for a couple with one child and is rent allowance added to that as well?

    • The bonus is 85% of your normal weekly payment. (Rent allowance is not included in this)

    • My son was on a fas scheme last yr in may he went on j/s but in oct he started on a tus progamme would he get the bonus tks

      • TuS is listed as being eleigible – so he should get it. But only Social Welfare can answer your query 100%

  26. Hi I am now on jobseekers benefit for the last three months but was,on a three year certain scheme till three months ago. I’m still on jobseekers benefit an I also claim for myself my partner and two children. Am I eligible? Or shud I change payment

    • Hi – Sorry we can’t really get into specific cases. You should ask Social Welfare about any bomnus you might get.

  27. Does the 15 months have to be a straight 15 months or can it be broken? I was on jobs seekers until may 2015 and worked until December and signed back on in January 2016 I am now on btea. Will I qualify for the bonus

  28. Hi i was on a tus scheme and finished it in august of this year and am on jobseekers allowance now am i entitled to the bonus

  29. do people doing a CE scheme get the christmas bonus? also, i did a Tus course an finished last halloween, does that count as not claiming job seekers for more than 15 months?

    • Can’t really go into specific cases – Best to check with Social Welfare.

  30. My boyfriend was on a gateway scheme for 22 months and it finished septtember 2016 hes now on JA does he quailfy for the bonus? Also its a joined claim we have just paid seperatley.

    • He should qualify for the bonus because he came off the gateway scheme. The total length of time towards the 15 months should include the gateway scheme. (as long as there was no employment in between).

  31. People on Jobseekers and working part time can get the Christmas bonus. Qualification may depend on how long you have been getting it. Best to ask Social Welfare – we can’t give definite answer for specific cases.

  32. Hi I am on one parent family payment and getting my 217.80 weekly and my allowance once a month which is 140 but I’m confused about the payments I know I get the bonus of the 217.80 which is 185 but is there suppose to be a double week or something too and what dates are payments due to be collected is it the normal pay days it is collected 🙂 Thank You

    • People ask about illness benefit every year. This benefit has never got a Christmas Bonus. The thinking behind it (as we understand it) is that it is not a “long term” benefit. The same reason why people on Jobseekers for less than 15 months don’t get the bonus.

  33. hi im on ja for over 15 months
    but i recieve reduced amount per week
    will i get xmas bonus

      • Christmas Bonus will be paid out to all eligible recipients along with their normal payments during the week beginning November 28th 2016.
        Anyone getting monthly payments will get the bonus in their December payment.

  34. Hi would like to know how much would Community employment schems be getting on christmas bonus ?

  35. I’m on a CE scheme since September last year but went on maternity leave in August not due back to work on my Cell scheme until February am I still entitled to the Christmas bonus.

    • Tipp – in your specific case it is probably best to check it yourself with Social Welfare. Sorry

  36. Hello ,I’m totally flummoxed with Bonuses ..I am on long term invalidity How much of a bonus will I get please ..

    • The bonus is 85% of your weekly payment. For every 100 euro ypu normally get – your bonus will be €85.
      Just multiply your weekly invalidity by 85 and divide by 100 to work out the xmas bonus.

  37. i was on job seekers and now im on tus tis few weeks am i entilted to the xmas bonus

    • Tus is on the list of payments eligible for the Christmas Bonus – so you should get it.

  38. Hi I’m only on one parent for the last 6 months and I was on jobseekers 7 months before that will I get the bonus?

    • One Parent Family payment is eligible for the bonus – there is no time limit on it.

    • Illness Benefit has never been eligible for Xmas Bonus. It is not seen as a “long term” benefit .

    • Occupational Injury Benefit is not mentioned on the list of eligible benefits for the Christmas Bonus.

    • Only Jobseekers has a 15 month limit fot eligibility for the Christmas Bonus – the bonus for all other benefits listed is not dependent on how long you have been getting them.

  39. hi im doing an ETB course i was on X’s And O’s since february of this year until i started this course does this mean i don’t qualify either

  40. Hi,

    I was on a Tus Scheme for 12 months until January 2016. I had been on Jobseeker’s Allowance for over one year before I started Tus. I have been back on JA since January 2016.

    Will I get the bonus?

    • As far as we are aware there are no restrictions regarding residency relating to the Christmas Bonus. But to be in receipt of many of the qualifying payments – the recipients probably have to be living in Ireland.

  41. Hi I’m going on maternity leave 25th November, was working time & part job seekers.. Am I entitled to Christmas bonus.

    • In such a specific case it is probably best if you check entitlement with Social Welfare.

    • Hi im on a CE scheme for the last 4 months an befor dat was receiving illness benifs for 3 years am I entitled to te Christmas bonus.

  42. Hello does Supplementary Welfare Schemes get the bonus please,I’m on it since April

    • Basic Supplementary Welfare is on the list of qualifying benefits – but you have to be getting it for 15 months to qualify for the bonus.

      • If you are on lone parent but are working part time are you eligible for the Christmas bonus?

  43. I’m wondering if you were on the gateway scheme and it ended an you start bak on jobseekers would you b entitled to the Christmas bonus

  44. i am doing the seetec course do i quality for the bonus and how much will i get on top of 210 euros

  45. I just came off a TUS placement, Nov 11th and have been granted a job seekers payment. Will I get the bonus?

    • Without knowing your full history of claims it is not possible to give an accurate answer. We would expect you to be eligible for a bonus if your combined continuous time on TUS & jobseeekers exceeds 15 months – but you will get more info from Social Welfare. Let us know if you get the bonus. Thanks

    • Yes. Once your on a social welfare payment for 15 months or longer you are then eligible!

  46. I was 5 months on JA then did a 12 month ETB course then signed back on JA for past 9 months. Would i get it

  47. Hi for few years I was on Jobseeker Allowance,from April Turas Nua, then from mid September partially on Illness benefit and supplementary welfare allowance, I’m still qualified for Christmas bonus?

    • Hi I have been on line parents for years now and doctors told me I had to go on to disability got qualified for disability in July will I still get the Xmas bonus

      • Disability is eligible for the bonus – it doesn’t matter how long you have been on it.

  48. Hi

    I was on a CE scheme from Sep 2015 to Sep 2016, since then I have been on JA! Before I started the CE I was on JA.

    Am I eligible for Christmas Bonus?


    • It looks like you should get the bonus because you have had a combined continuous period of either JA or CE for more than 15 months . You will find out for certain next week hopefully.

    • As it states in the article – the Christmas Bonus will be paid in week starting Nov 28th for weekly payments.

    • If your total time on both JS and course is ove r15 months you should get the bonus.

  49. If you are on one parent family and are receiving dca and carers allowance do you get bonus for each of them

  50. I was on jsa from 2012 until 2016 I then went to England to try and get work unfortunately I didn’t and returned home after 10 days (because I had no where to live) I was paid supplementary benefit after 10 days for 2 weeks I’m now on jsa will I be intiteled to the Christmas bonus or punished for trying to find work?

    • A gap of less than 26 weeks is usually ignored when working out length of a “claim”. So you should be OK for the bonus. If you don’t get it you shoule question it with SW.

  51. Hi it says single person on 188 job seekers will receive 160, I only receive 100 weekly so what will I get?

  52. i was on job seekers for about one year and recently started a course in October am i eligible ? Tia

  53. Hi on jobseekers Allowance over two years and just started Seetec/Jobpath last week.Am I entitled to Christmas bonus? Also if you were on Jobseeker’s Allowance over 15 months then done tus scheme and straight back on Jobseeker’s Allowance are u entitled to Christmas bonus? Thank you

    • A gap of less than 26 weeks in a Jobseekers claim is ignored when working out the length of a claim .
      You should get a bonus .

  54. Hi
    I was on supplymentary welfare allownce for 15 month and after this in July 2016 I’m on jobseeker payment. My question is I will get christmas bouns?!?!?

  55. I was on Job Seeker for 2 yrs and have since been put on a C.E Scheme since March this year. Am i entitled to the Christmas bonus?

  56. Hey im on family income allowens sins november last year am i entild to the christmas bones

    • Please check the list – if it’s not on the list you won’t be getting a bonus.

  57. Hi,

    I was on Jobseekers Transition,up until may this year. Then went onto FIS. I was since let go from work and was put onto JB, in October. Will i get a christmas bonus?

  58. Hi, I’m on community scheme but On a illness benefit from 3 weeks. Am I eligible for Christmas bonus?

  59. Am I going to loose the bonus if my jobseekers clam was suspended for three weeks as I got a temp job I am with turas nua until next may.

    • We are not 100% sure on this – but it is likely that you will miss out on the bonus. Let us know if we were wrong. Good Luck.

    • Ignore that last reply – A 3 week gap will not affect the xmas bonus – as long as your combined time on JA before and after the job is 15 months or more .

  60. I’ve been on since 9/10 months now and in college on BTEA so that means im not eligible to get anything for a Christmas bonus only if it’s 15 months?

  61. Hi, do you know if the 85% will be based on the JS allowance amount before deductions or the net amount?

  62. Can anyone help, I finished my CE Scheme early last November, and signed on Job Seeker’s Allowance straight away. It was a six months CE Scheme, now I’m worried after reading all the comments that I will not receive my Christmas Bonus this year? Can someone let me know if I will or not? It’s so important to me and my family.

  63. Hi, I opened a claim for JA in January 2014 soon after turning 18 years old, and a few weeks later I started a full-time Fas course. I received €160 training allowance per week on my course and I finished my course in April 2016. I then went back on Job Seekers Allowance in April 2016 until September 2016 when I started another Fas course. I am still on my new course and receive a weekly allowance of €160. I am aware you have to be 15 months in receipt of a payment. Am I entitled to a Christmas bonus?

    • Social Welfare say that “The Bonus is paid to certain participants on some Further Education and Training courses (people coming from jobseeker’s payments must have been on their payment and/or training allowance for 15 months).”
      It looks like you will qualify – if yu don’t get a bonus you should query it with Social Welfare.

  64. please could you help me I ex partner was claimimg for myself and two kids everything didnt work out so i went back to my own claim as One parent family in Serptember 2016. will i recieve the chrismas bonus.

  65. Hi I was on supplymentry welfare allowance from April 2015 to July 2016 and from July 2016 until today I’m in jobseeker am I qualify for christams bouns ?

  66. Hi my dad was on a ce scheme for 2 years and is now on jobseekers allowance only this week is he entitled to the bonus

  67. On partial capacity benefit for two years, then moved back to jobseekers benefit.

    Will I qualify for the bonus?

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