Monday 20 January 2020

Over a million people get Christmas bonus boost

Brid O’Brien
Brid O’Brien

Anne-Marie Walsh

SOME 1.2 million social welfare recipients will get a boost when their Christmas bonus increases in December.

They will qualify for a lump sum worth 85pc of their weekly payment, and the minimum amount paid will be €20.

A Department of Social Protection document says the payment recognises the needs of people who are financially dependent on their social welfare payment for all or most of their income over a long period of time. It says this includes pensioners, people with disabilities, and carers.

Those who receive the state pension, widows, widowers, surviving civil partners, long-term Jobseeker's Allowance recipients, lone parents, and those in receipt of Deserted Wife's Benefit and Back-to-Work allowances will get the festive payment.

Those in receipt of the invalidity pension, blind pension, disability allowance, carer's allowance, domiciliary care allowance, and guardian's payments are also eligible.

Brid O'Brien of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed said that 85pc of weekly payments was "going in the right direction" after the payment was axed during the financial crisis.

She said getting a full week's pay was a "key ask".

"We are conscious it's a very expensive time of year for people and getting a full week's payment would have helped," she said. "Most people on the Live Register are in receipt of a single payment, which means the maximum is €188 and just €100 for 18 to 24 year olds.

The measure costs €221m.

Irish Independent

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