1.6m people to receive social welfare Christmas bonus

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The Christmas bonus will be paid to over 1.6 million social welfare recipients on the week beginning December 7th, with a total of €390 million to be paid out.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys announced the details of the largest ever Christmas bonus today.

As per previous years, the 100 per cent Christmas bonus will be paid to long term social welfare recipients such as pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents.

On an exceptional basis this year, the Christmas bonus will also be paid to recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) provided they have been in receipt of a PUP payment — continuously or otherwise — for at least 4 months (17 weeks) since March.

It’s estimated that 311,270 people who have been on the PUP will receive the Christmas bonus, totalling over €93 million.

This means that approximately 90 per cent of PUP recipients (currently 350,000) are in line to receive a Christmas bonus.

Anyone who has been receiving PUP for 17 weeks but goes back to work next week will still receive the Christmas bonus.

Ms Humphreys said: “As an exceptional measure this year, people who are receiving PUP or another Jobseeker’s payment for four months or longer will receive the Bonus.  There are many individuals and families who have lost their job or business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and have been out of work for several months now. The Bonus will help to ease the financial burden on them at this very difficult time.

“Any person in receipt of PUP for any one day from Friday, November 27th to Thursday, December 3rd, can rest assured that they will still receive the Christmas Bonus payment on Tuesday, December 8th as long as they also meet the 17-week requirement. I wanted to ensure that people who returned to work next week following the easing of restrictions did not miss out on the bonus payment.”

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