State pension bonus to be paid next month – everything you need to know on who gets boost
Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme
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The winter months can be gruelling for older people, who may struggle financially as the cost of heating their home rises and Christmas spending forces them to stretch their money even further. To help pensioners through these potentially difficult times, there are a number of winter benefits available, including the Christmas Bonus.
What is the Christmas Bonus?
The Christmas Bonus is a one-off payment of £10.
The payment is made before Christmas, and is given to people who receive certain benefits in the qualifying week. The qualifying week is normally the first full week of December.
Receiving the Christmas Bonus will not impact any other benefits you get.
To get a Christmas Bonus, people must be present or ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the qualifying week.
Those who live in or are moving to a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland can find out about benefits for UK nationals in the EU, EEA and Switzerland on the Gov.uk website.
People must also receive at least one of the following benefits in the qualifying week in order to qualify:
Armed Forces Independence Payment
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)
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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
If a person has not claimed their state pension and are not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits then they will not get a Christmas Bonus.
Anyone who is part of a married couple, in a civil partnership or living together and who both receive one of the qualifying benefits will each get a Christmas Bonus payment.
However, if someone’s partner or civil partner does not get one of the qualifying benefits, they may still get the Christmas Bonus if both the following apply:
Both parties are over state pension age by the end of the qualifying week
The partner in question 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
A person must also meet one of the following criteria in order to make their partner eligible:
They are entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for their partner or civil partner
The only qualifying benefit they are getting is Pension Credit
How to claim
One of the benefits of the Christmas Bonus is that people do not need to actually claim it, they should be paid automatically if they qualify.
Recipients should keep an eye out for the amount being paid into their bank account. It may show up as ‘DWP XB’ on their bank statement.
People who believe they should receive the bonus, but have not, should contact the Pension Service or the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with their payments, if applicable.
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