Pensioners will get one-off payment next month - when to expect the Christmas bonus

Pensioner looks at letter in post

The state pension is among the qualifying benefits for the Christmas Bonus

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 26/11/2023

- 07:00

Updated: 29/11/2023

- 13:37

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will automatically pay the Christmas Bonus to those eligible

Pensioners who receive the state pension will be among millions of people to get a one-off tax-free payment next month.

The Christmas Bonus is automatically paid by the DWP to people who qualify for one of 21 benefits during the qualifying period.

It is a payment of £10, and it is normally paid in the first full week of December.

The Christmas Bonus was established in the 1970s, although the payment has never been uprated.

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According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, £10 in 1972 - when the Christmas Bonus was first launched - is worth £113.18 today. Based on another CPI inflation calculator, it would be worth £162.72 today.

The Christmas Bonus may show up as DWP XB on the recipient's bank statement.

​The Christmas Bonus will not affect other benefits a person may get.

If a person thinks they are eligible for the Christmas Bonus but haven't received it in December, then they should contact the Pension Service or the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with their benefits payments.

People who get the state pension are among those eligible, however, some pensioners won't get the Christmas Bonus each year.

This is because if a person has deferred (delaying claiming) their state pension and they aren't entitled via any of the other qualifying benefits, then they won't get the Christmas Bonus.

Who is eligible for the Christmas Bonus?

To qualify for the Christmas Bonus, a person must be present or "ordinarily resident" in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the qualifying week - which is usually the first full week of December.

A person must get at least one of the following benefits during the qualifying week to be eligible. These are:

  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer Support 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)
  • 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

Married couples, those in a civil partnership, or co-habiting couples who both get one of the qualifying benefits will get a Christmas Bonus payment each.

The Government explains: "If your partner or civil partner does not get one of the qualifying benefits, they may still get the Christmas Bonus if both the following apply:

  • You’re both over state pension age by the end of the qualifying week
  • Your 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

"One of the following must also apply:

  • You’re entitled to an increase of a qualifying benefit for your partner or civil partner
  • The only qualifying benefit you’re getting is Pension Credit."

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