Over 1.2m people to get Christmas bonus this week

Welfare recipients to share €219 million fund, but payment still only 85% of weekly rate

 Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty confirmed on Friday that payments will be automatically paid this week, despite ongoing political ructions. However, she warned that increases for 2018, such as the €5 increase from March in the state pension, are “in limbo”, due to delays enacting the Social Welfare Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty confirmed on Friday that payments will be automatically paid this week, despite ongoing political ructions. However, she warned that increases for 2018, such as the €5 increase from March in the state pension, are “in limbo”, due to delays enacting the Social Welfare Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

Some 1.2 million welfare recipients are set to receive a Christmas bonus this week, although delays in enacting the Social Welfare Bill may put 2018 welfare increases in doubt.

The payment, at 85 per cent of the normal weekly payment, is an extra payment for people who are getting a long-term social welfare payment. It will be paid this year to a wide number of welfare recipients, including those on the state pension, carers, those on unemployment and disability benefit, and one parent families. It means that those on a full state pension for example, will receive an additional €202.55, while someone on the one-parent family payment will receive €159.80, and someone on jobseeker’s benefit will get €164. If you are entitled to two eligible social welfare payments you will get the Christmas Bonus in respect of both payments. The minimum payment is €20.

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty confirmed on Friday that payments will be automatically paid this week, despite ongoing political ructions. However, she warned that increases for 2018, such as the €5 increase from March in the state pension, are “in limbo”, due to delays enacting the Social Welfare Bill.

Up until 2009 the bonus was paid at the full weekly rate, but was abolished following the financial crisis. It was reinstated at a rate of 25 per cent in the 2014 Budget, and rose to 75 per cent in 2016 and 85 per cent in 2017. Last year it was paid out in the week beginning November 28th.