Minister Heather Humphreys.

State's 'Christmas bonus' to be paid to 1.4 million people next week

The Government has today announced that the Christmas Bonus will be paid to some 1.4 million people next week.

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, said she secured approval for the 100% Christmas Bonus, which will cost over €313 million, during the discussions around Budget 2022.

The Christmas Bonus is paid to long-term social welfare recipients such as pensioners, carers, people with disabilities and lone parents.

Minister Humphreys also announced that the qualifying period for people in receipt of an eligible Jobseeker’s payment has been reduced to 12 months from 15 months.

In addition, long-term recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will also receive this year’s Christmas Bonus.

Time spent on the PUP by people who have since moved to a Jobseeker's payment will count towards reaching the 12 month requirement.

"The Bonus will be paid into people's accounts beginning next week – providing an additional support to the likes of our pensioners, carers, lone parents, people on disabilities and people on a long-term jobseeker's payment," said Minister Humphreys.

"As a former Minister for Business, I know that our retail community are still feeling the impact of Covid-19.

"This past two years has been so difficult for our small and medium businesses. I am therefore urging everyone to consider spending the Christmas Bonus locally this year," she added.

People in receipt of the following payments will receive the Christmas Bonus:

* State Pensions and Widow’s/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pensions

* Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Partial Capacity Benefit, Disablement Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Guardian’s payments

* One-Parent Family Payment, Long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Long-term Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Jobseeker’s Transition Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit and Allowance and Farm Assist

* Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, TÚS, Gateway and Job Initiative, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Daily Expenses Allowance, Magdalene Commission Scheme.