A Christmas Bonus to benefit payments is likely to be welcome news in a time where many people are in tough financial circumstances. Such a payment before Christmas could potentially assist millions of people throughout the festive period. The increase is made available by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), responsible for overseeing a number of benefits and payments.
In the qualifying week, a person must be present or ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any European Economic Area country, or Switzerland.
A wide range of benefits are eligible to receive the Christmas Bonus, all of which are available on the government’s website.
However, a few key DWP benefits of note are the state pension, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the guarantee element of Pension Credit, and Attendance Allowance.
The government website explains, though, that if a person has not claimed their state pension and is not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits, they will not receive the bonus.
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Britons will not need to take action to receive the Christmas Bonus.
It is a payment which the DWP states it will make automatically to those who are eligible.
This is likely to be a relief for those who do not wish to undertake any administrative activity to receive the extra sum.
Another benefit to the Christmas Bonus is that it is not included in the benefits cap.
Individuals who are married, in a civil partnership or living together as if they are, could stand to benefit most from the Christmas Bonus.
This is because if both members get one of the qualifying benefits, they will both get a Christmas Bonus payment.
However, if a person’s partner or civil partner does not receive one of the qualifying benefits, they may still be entitled to the bonus payment.
The government explains that both of the following criteria must apply for this to occur:
- a person and their partner must both be over state pension age by the end of the qualifying week
- a person another partner must be present or ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, EEA or Switzerland in the qualifying week
In addition, a couple must either be only receiving Pension Credit, or be entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit.