Christmas Bonus Payment 2018 : Pensions and Welfare

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Find out about the 2021 Christmas Bonus Payments Here

As confirmed in Budget 2019  – A Christmas Bonus of 100% will be paid in the first week of December 2018 to pensioners and long term welfare recipients.

(Note: The Christmas bonus should not be confused with the annual  “double week” of welfare and pension payments made just before Christmas. This is where one week’s payment is made in advance because of bank and post office closures.) Find out more here about the  Christmas Payment Arrangements 

Payment of the annual Christmas Bonus  will be made to about 1.3 million people. (About 900,000 recipients and an estimated 400,000 dependents).

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

2018 Christmas Bonus Payment Dates : –

The 2018 bonus will be paid out to eligible people, along with their normal weekly payments, between December 3rd 2018 and December 7th 2018.

The Christmas Bonus will be 100% of the normal weekly pension or benefit payment (including the Living Alone Increase, the Island Allowance and the Over-80 Increase). So all recipients will get double their normal weekly payment.

The Christmas Bonus does not include Fuel Allowance or Rent Allowance.

The minimum Christmas Bonus payment is €20 .


For a List of all Pensions and Benefits that are eligible for the 2018 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 must 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.

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