State pension, Universal Credit and PIP recipients to get tax-free Christmas bonus
State pension: Expert discusses when payments are made
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The state pension is undergoing change this year, as the Government confirmed it would be temporarily scrapping the Triple Lock which many older people have come to expect. Instead the sum will increase by the highest of inflation or 2.5 percent. Universal Credit has also changed as from today many will see the end of the £20 uplift as the Government instead pivots to focus on its Plan for Jobs. Recently, the DWP has also unveiled a new guide which outlines how eligible Britons will be able to apply for Personal Independence Payment, or PIP as it is more commonly known.
However, despite some changes and tweaks to benefits and payments, there is one issue from the DWP which remains the same: the Christmas Bonus.
The Christmas Bonus is described as a one-off, tax-free payment which is made slightly before the festive season kicks off to people who receive certain benefits or payments.
It is usually issued in what is known as the “qualifying week”, usually the first full week of December. This year, the first full week of December commences on Monday, December 6, 2021.
People can expect to be paid into their account of choice – such as a bank account, building society account, or credit union account.
The Government advises the payment may show up as ‘DWP XB’ on a person’s bank statement, and this can help them to look out to see if they have received the sum.
The Christmas bonus is a one-off payment of £10 which may be perceived as a small boost, but could help with festivities at the tail end of the year, or simply provide an extra bit of cash to those who need it.
It will also not impact any other benefits or payments a person is in receipt of, and so individuals can receive it without worry.
To get the Christmas bonus, individuals must be present or “ordinary resident” during the qualifying week in:
- The UK
- The Channel Islands
- The Isle of Man
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They must also be in receipt of certain benefits and payments, which include the state pension, Universal Credit, PIP, Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance and more.
The Government has provided a full list of eligible benefits and payments via its official website, and individuals can check whether they will be able to receive the sum.
However, for those who have not claimed their state pension and are not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits, a Christmas bonus will not be available.
If people are part of a married couple, in a civil partnership or living together as if they are, and they both get one of the qualifying benefits or payments, they will each get a Christmas bonus.
If only one person in a couple receives one of the qualifying benefits or payments, they could still get the Christmas bonus if both the following apply:
- Both people are over state pension age by the end of the qualifying week
- The 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
- The person is entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for their partner or civil partner
- The only qualifying benefit the person is getting is Pension Credit
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Thankfully, though, there is no need for Britons to take action if they wish to receive the Christmas bonus.
This is because the sum should be administered automatically to those who are eligible to receive it.
However, if a person does believe they should have received the Christmas bonus and have not after the qualifying week, they will need to take action.
They can contact the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with their payment, or alternatively the Pension Service.
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