MILLIONS of pensioners will be getting an extra cash boost this Christmas.
Anyone getting the state pension will get a bonus ahead of the festive season to help them through.
The extra money is tax-free and is paid just before Christmas, boosting bank balances by £10.
The bonus, which also goes to millions of Brits on other benefits too, comes as energy bills and the cost of living are set to soar.
The one-off payment won’t affect any other benefits you get either, like pension credit.
You need to be getting the State Pension in what’s known as the qualifying week to be eligible, which is usually the first week of December.
This could mean that eligible households receive the cash from Monday, December 5.
You’ll also need to live in or be a resident of one of the following countries:
- The UK
- The Channel Islands
- The Isle of Man
- Any European Economic Area (EEA) country
If you are of state-pension age but are not currently claiming it, for instance if you deferred it, then you won’t get the bonus.
How do I claim the Christmas bonus?
You shouldn’t have to do anything to get the Christmas bonus, if you’re eligible to receive it.
If you’re getting the state pension already, it should be paid to you automatically.
You’ll get it paid into the same account where you normally receive your pension payments.
It’s worth keeping an eye on your account closer to Christmas though to check that you’ve received it.
You should see it as a payment from DWP XB.
If you think that you qualify and but you don’t receive a payment automatically, contact your Pension Centre.
You can find details on gov.uk, including the phone number and address.
Who else is eligible for the Christmas bonus?
To get the Christmas bonus you need to get one of the following benefits:
- 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
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 do 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.
You’ll need to be claiming one of the above benefits during the first week of December.
More bill help
Energy suppliers offer support for those who are struggling to pay their bills.
Those on Universal Credit and older legacy benefits could get over £3,000 in bill support.
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it’ll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF’s energy customer support fund
- E.on’s energy fund
- Npower’s energy fund
- Ovo’s debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power’s hardship fund
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.
You can also contact the following if you’re really struggling – help is just around the corner:
- Money Advice Service – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
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