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The social welfare Christmas bonus is to be issued next week

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Crimbo: The Christmas bonus will be paid next week
Crimbo: The Christmas bonus will be paid next week

Approximately 1.2 million people are expected to receive their social welfare Christmas bonus next week.

The payment is to be issued at the beginning of December, and will be 75% of your normal weekly payment. 

It was abolished in 2009 but restored last year by Joan Burton. It was also increased in this year's budget, and will be paid at a cost of just under €200 million. 

Tanaiste Joan Burton and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin today signed the regulations required for the payments to be made from the State coffers.

The bonus will benefit people, such as pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and long-term unemployed people.  

The Tánaiste said: "The Christmas Bonus is a welcome assistance to many groups at a financially stressful time of year.  It is spent in the local economy, in local businesses and stores, providing a stimulus to communities across the country."

Those in receipt of the following payments will avail of the bonus: State pensions and widow/widower's/surviving civil partner's pensions, blind pension, disability allowance, carer's allowance and guardian's payments, long-term jobseeker's allowance including jobseeker's transition payment, pre-retirement allowance, one parent family payment, deserted wife's benefit and allowance, among others. 

Survivors of Thalidomide who get payments from the Department of Health also get the bonus, the government said. 

It will also be paid to certain participants on some Further Education and Training (FET) courses funded by SOLAS.

The decision to increase the Christmas bonus by 50pc in the budget will see a dole claimant receive €141 in the coming weeks, while a pensioner will receive a bonus of €173.

A long-term jobseeker with a dependent partner and two dependent children will receive a bonus of €279.30.