Those receiving the bonus should receive a letter from the DWP stating how much and when they should expect to be paid. However, matching certain criteria, or if one feels they are eligible but have not received a letter, could mean people have to claim before receiving the £10 tax-free bonus.
The annual Christmas bonus is a one-off addition people on certain benefits, such as state pension or disability allowance, get each year.
This month the bonus is expected around December 24 but to be eligible one has to fit the eligibility criteria by the first week of December, otherwise known as ‘qualifying week’.
This payment will not affect any other benefits one currently receives but eligibility depends on the type of benefits and pensions they claim.
For pensioners, eligibility requires them to either be present, or ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar.
‘Ordinarily resident’ is a legal concept meaning that one’s day-to-day life generally takes place in the specified country.
Essentially, if a pensioner is on holiday abroad or extenuating circumstances means they have left for a short period of time and cannot be in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar when the Christmas bonus is due they will still be entitled to it.
UK nationals living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and still claiming their state pension can check their eligibility for the bonus on the Gov.uk website.
Those who believe they are eligible for the payment but do not receive it should contact the Jobcentre Plus office or Pension Service.
Additionally, to receive the payment one has to be getting one of the qualifying benefits within the first full week of December, otherwise known as ‘qualifying week’.
For pensioners, or those of state pension age, the most relevant benefits they can get the Christmas bonus on are: state pension, Pension Credit, War Disablement Pension at state pension age, War Widow’s Pension and Widow’s Pension.
Additionally, other benefits that are eligible for the bonus include:
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Unemployability Supplement or Allowance
Widowed Mother’s Allowance
Widowed Parent’s Allowance
If one has not claimed their state pension and is not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits they will not be entitled to the Christmas Bonus.
A comprehensive list of eligible benefits and other eligibility criteria can be found on the Gov.uk website