Households on benefits and Universal Credit can claim extra money this Christmas - here’s how
Every little bit of extra cash can go a long way during the festive season and some households could be due a small payment this Christmas, thanks to a Government bonus scheme.
This is everything you need to know about the Christmas Bonus scheme for 2019 - what it’s all about, how much it’s worth, who is eligible and how to claim.
The Christmas Bonus
The Christmas Bonus is a one off payment of £10 which is paid to people who receive certain benefits during a “qualifying week”. This week is normally the first full week of December.
This bonus won’t affect any other benefits you receive.
For example, if you’re claiming Universal Credit, this added payment of £10 won’t be counted as an increase to your income and won’t lower your benefits in turn - instead, your benefits will stay the same they normally are.
Who can claim
The government website explains: “To get a Christmas Bonus you must be present or ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland during the qualifying week.”
You must also get at least one of the following benefits in the “qualifying week” which is normally the first full week of December:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit at the long term rate
- Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)
- Mobility Supplement
- Pension Credit - the guarantee element
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
- Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
- Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pension schemes)
- War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
- War Widow’s Pension
- Widowed Mother’s Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
If you’re part of a married couple, in a civil partnership, or living together as if you are, and you both get one of the qualifying benefits, you’ll each get a Christmas Bonus payment.
If your partner or civil partner doesn’t get one of the qualifying benefits, they may still receive the Christmas Bonus payment if these things apply:
- You’re both over State Pension age by the end of the qualifying week
- Your partner or civil partner was also present (or ‘ordinarily resident’) in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland during the qualifying week
- You’re entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for your partner or civil partner
- The only qualifying benefit you’re getting is Pension Credit
How to claim
The best part about the Christmas Bonus is that you don’t need to do anything to claim it - you should get paid automatically.
It will get paid into the account that your benefits, pensions and/or your allowances are normally paid into and may show up as ‘DWP XB’ on the statement.
If you think you’re eligible for the bonus but haven’t received it, you should contact the Jobcentre Plus office on 0800 169 0190 or the pension centre that handles your payments.