HARD-UP Brits could get a bonus this Christmas if they are claiming certain benefits.
The cash could be a big help for anyone left struggling after the £20 Universal Credit uplift was cut last month.
Millions saw their income cut when the £20-a-week uplift to help through coronavirus came to an end on October 6.
Some may be eligible for a one-off payment of £10 over the festive season and payment is made just before Christmas.
The Christmas bonus is tax-free and will not affect any other benefits you get.
While the extra cash won't fully cover the loss of the uplift, it's an extra amount you can factor into your budget ahead of the wallet-busting season.
You can also check out what other help you may be entitled to as the uplift ends – and it could be worth thousands.
Who is eligible for the Christmas bonus?
To get the Christmas bonus you need to get one of the following benefits along with Unviersal Credit.
You need to be getting it in what's known as the qualifying week, which is usually the first week of December.
- 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
To qualify, as well as receiving one of the above benefits, you must also live in or be a resident of one of the following:
- The UK
- The Channel Islands
- The Isle of Man
- Any European Economic Area (EEA) country
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 does 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.
A DWP spokesperson said: “We know that Christmas is a time that can stretch budgets, which is why we offer those on certain benefits a £10 bonus and pay many people their benefits earlier than usual, helping them over the festive period.”
How do I claim the Christmas bonus?
You shouldn't have to do anything to get the Christmas bonus, if you'e 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.
It's worth keeping an eye on your account though 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 and but you don’t receive a payment automatically, contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Pension Centre.
Don't forget that over Christmas there are several bank holidays that can affect when you get your Universal Credit or benefits paid.
Thousands of Brits will no longer lose cash from Universal Credit payments after a bank holiday loophole was closed.
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