The Christmas Bonus should be paid automatically to eligible people ahead of Christmas. It is a one-off tax-free payment of £10. This payment is paid to people who get certain benefits in the qualifying week, and the list of payments includes the state pension and Pension Credit.
In October 1972, the basic state pension was £6.75 per week.
At the time of writing, the full basic state pension is £129.20 per week.
In 1973 and 1974, the £10 payment was repeated by the Heath government.
The Christmas Bonus was suspended in the mid-1970s, but then repeated in 1977 and 1978.
The Pensioners’ Payments and Social Security Act of 1979 established the Christmas Bonus permanently, however the amount is not uprated.
Currently, both the new and basic state pension rise each year, under the triple lock.
This means that the payment increases by whichever is the highest of the average percentage growth in wages in Great Britain, the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), and 2.5 percent.
In April 2020, the state pension is set to rise by 3.9 percent.
Who is eligible for the Christmas Bonus?
In order to get a Christmas Bonus, the person must be present or “ordinarily resident” in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland during the qualifying week.
They must also get at least one of the following payments in the particular week:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- 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
Should a person have deferred their state pension and not be entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits, then they won’t get a Christmas Bonus, gov.uk states.