Pensioners to receive extra £10 ‘Christmas bonus’ next week
The ‘Christmas bonus’ is paid every year to help pensioners over the winter period. The money is tax free and does not have any impact on other benefits someone receives.
It is paid automatically during the first week in December into the bank account where pension payments are made.
This year it comes in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis where prices have risen on everything we buy and inflation is currently at 11.1%.
Yet the £10 bonus has remained at the same level since 1972, when it was first introduced.
More than 11.6 million pensioners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland started receiving up to £600 last week through the Winter Fuel Payment.
It is paid to those born on or before 25 September 1956, and this year, it has been boosted by an extra £300 Pensioner Cost of Living payment to help with energy bills this winter.
Who is eligible for the money?
To be eligible for the money, you need to be present or usually living in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the qualifying week, which is usually the first week of December.
You also need to be receiving the State Pension or one of the following government benefits:
- Adult Disability Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Disability Payment
- 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 Pensions schemes)
- War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
- War Widow’s Pension
- Widowed Mother’s Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
How to claim the Christmas bonus
You do not need to claim the extra £10 as it is paid out automatically. If you believe you are entitled to it, but it is not paid, you should contact your local Jobcentre Plus Office or the Pension Service.
If you are married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner and you both qualify for the bonus, you will each be paid the £10.
If one partner does not receive a qualifying benefit, they may still receive the £10.
This could happen if both people in the couple are over State Pension age, the partner lives in one of the locations stated above, and they are entitled to either an increase of a qualifying benefit or if the only qualifying benefit they’re getting is Pension Credit.