One-off DWP payment on the way this year to millions on benefits including PIP

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Over 20 million UK residents currently claim at least one benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). That includes nearly 12.7 million people receiving State Pension payments.

However, many, including some who have recently stopped working, may not be aware of an annual payment given to those on some benefits before Christmas. The 'Christmas Bonus' is a tax-free £10 payment made to those on State Pension or people claiming certain benefits including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance.

However, there are rules around who qualifies. To receive the one-off payment, they must meet the eligibility criteria during a specific qualifying period, usually the first full week in December.

People claiming one of 22 benefits can be eligible for the £10 payment - however, roughly 6.7 million people claiming Universal Credit will miss out as they do not qualify. It's important to note the DWP pays the money separately from any scheduled State Pension or benefit payment and not necessarily on the same day.

You do not need to apply for the money as it should go into the account where you usually receive your payment. You can spot it as it will show as 'DWP XB' on bank statements and online accounts, reports the Daily Record.

The £10 Christmas Bonus was first paid in 1972 under Ted Heath's Conservative Government but has never been increased. In today's money, if the figure was adjusted for inflation using the composite price index from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), it would be worth about £115.

Who will get a £10 Christmas Bonus?

To qualify you have to be present or 'ordinarily resident' in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, during the qualifying week, which will probably be December 2 - 8, 2024 this year. The exact dates will be announced nearer to the time.

The DWP contact those eligible to tell them when to expect the £10 in December. However this can sometimes come after the money has hit bank accounts.

Qualifying benefits

You will need to be receiving at least one of these benefits in the qualifying week:

  • Adult Disability Payment (Scotland only)

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Carer’s Allowance

  • Carer Support Payment (Scotland only)

  • Child Disability Payment (Scotland only)

  • 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

However not all pensioners will get the bonus, as DWP guidance on GOV. UK states: "If you have not claimed your State Pension and are not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits you will not get a Christmas Bonus."

Married or cohabiting couples or civil partnerships

The DWP guidance says if you are 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 will each get a £10 Christmas Bonus payment.

If your partner or civil partner does not get one of the qualifying benefits, they may still get the Christmas Bonus if both the following apply:

  • you’re both over State Pension age by the end of the qualifying week

  • your 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 week

One of the following must also apply:

  • You are entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for your partner or civil partner

  • the only qualifying benefit you are getting is Pension Credit

Making a claim

There is no need to claim the Christmas Bonus as it should be paid automatically. To learn more about the Christmas Bonus visit GOV.UK here.