The Christmas bonus double payment will be paid to approximately 1.3 million social welfare recipients this week.
The payment will be made to pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, widows and lone parents in addition to a person’s normal weekly payment.
The payment amounts to €300million.
This week Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD secured Government approval to extend the Christmas Bonus to long-term recipients of Illness Benefit for the first time. This means people in receipt of Illness Benefit for 12 months or longer will now receive the payment – approximately 17,500 people will benefit from this extension. Long-term Illness Benefit recipients will receive their Christmas Bonus between Tuesday, 6th December 2022 and Friday, 23rd December 2022.
The Christmas Bonus payments are in addition to the 7 lump sum payments that have already been made to support households with the cost of living over the last six weeks. The combined cost of all 8 Lump Sum Payments is over €1.2 Billion.
Minister Humphreys said: “Christmas is a very special time of the year, but it can be an expensive period for individuals and families, particularly given the current cost of living.
“I am pleased therefore to announce that a Christmas Bonus Payment will be paid next week. This payment is designed to put more money in the pockets of our pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, widows and lone parents.
“I’m particularly pleased that this year’s Christmas Bonus will be extended to people on long-term Illness Benefit for the first time.
“The vast majority of people are on Illness Benefit for a very short period of time and then return to work however there are a small cohort of people with serious medical conditions who remain on the payment for longer periods of time.
“These are people who have worked all their lives, paid their PRSI and then have to take time out of the workforce due to serious and possibly long-lasting health conditions. A number of people have raised this issue with me and I am pleased to confirm that people in receipt of Illness Benefit for 12 months or longer will now receive the payment. Approximately 17,500 people will benefit from this move.
“This year has also been a challenging one for small business and I would encourage people, where possible, to shop locally in the run-up to Christmas this year.”