MILLIONS of households claiming Universal Credit and other benefits will soon qualify for a tax-free Christmas bonus.
Eligible households will not need to apply for the bonus as it will be paid automatically – but they will need to meet the eligibility criteria.
And the Department for Work and Pensions has now revealed exactly how households will qualify.
The tax-free £10 payment is usually made after the qualifying week and before Christmas.
But to qualify for the payment you must be present or "ordinarily resident" in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the first full week between December 5 and 11.
Households will also need to claim at least one of the 20 qualifying benefits within the same period.
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Which benefits make you eligible for the Christmas bonus?
The following 20 benefits make you eligible for the tax-free £10 Christmas bonus 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
If you're part of a married couple, in a civil partnership or live together, you'll both get the cash bonus – as long as you both are eligible.
If you or your partner do not get one of the above qualifying benefits, then they could still get the bonus if they are over the state pension age by the end of the qualifying week.
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How do I claim the Christmas bonus?
You shouldn't have to do anything to get the Christmas bonus if you're eligible.
If you're getting any of the benefits above, it should be paid to you automatically.
You'll get it paid into the same account where you normally receive your benefit payments.
But it's worth keeping an eye on your account to see that you've received it closer to Christmas.
You should see it as a payment from "DWP XB" on your bank statement.
If you think that you qualify but didn't receive the payment automatically, contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Pension Centre.
Millions are eligible for Universal Credit – so launch claims now
The amount you will get depends on several criteria, including your age, earnings, whether you live with a partner, have children or are disabled.
The standard monthly allowance for single people aged under 25 is £344, rising to £411.51 for older claimants.
Brits that are in a couple, where both members are under 25, will get £490.60 for both people.
If either half of the couple is over 25, you'll get £596.58.
You will get extra money if you've got children or have a health or disability condition.
You can also claim more cash if you need help with your housing costs.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over – but there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17
- you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
If you're not eligible for Universal Credit, you can use the government's benefits calculator to find out what help you can get.
Check other benefits and help you can get
It's also worth noting that millions of Brits are missing out on other benefits they're entitled to adding up to billions of pounds in total.
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Benefit calculators can help you check what you could be entitled to.
There are several benefit checker tools you can use – here's our guide.
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