You could get some extra money this Christmas if you receive benefits or Universal Credit - here’s how to claim it

By Rhona Shennan
Monday, 9th December 2019, 11:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 10:02 am
Are you eligible for the Christmas Bonus scheme? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Are you eligible for the Christmas Bonus scheme? (Photo: Shutterstock)

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.

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    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 PaymentAttendance AllowanceCarer’s AllowanceConstant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of thebenefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)Disability Living AllowanceIncapacity Benefit at the long term rateIndustrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)Mobility SupplementPension Credit - the guarantee elementPersonal 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 ageWar Widow’s PensionWidowed Mother’s AllowanceWidowed Parent’s AllowanceWidow’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 weekYour 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 weekYou’re entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for your partner or civil partnerThe 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.

    This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News