The government’s £10 Christmas bonus for disabled people and those on the lowest incomes has been described as an ‘insult’ at a time when millions will struggle to heat their homes this winter.
The benefit boost, paid in the first week of December to those on legacy benefits such as the disability allowance comes at a time when food banks are facing increased pressure due to job losses during the pandemic.
It comes after Ofgem warned of a surge in electricity prices this winter, while inflation could jump to 4%.
The £10 payment is not offered to those on Universal Credit, however those in receipt of personal independence payments, jobseeker’s allowance, incapacity benefits and other state payments will get the ‘bonus’.
These groups were all excluded from the £20 a week Covid uplift, despite many warning they were facing severe hardship during the pandemic.
It will also be paid to people on the state pension – a move people say is a kick in the teeth after Boris Johnson blocked what was supposed to be an £800 a year pay rise for retirees next April.
One woman Diane Fisher, said the £10 ‘bonus’ has not risen in decades – despite inflation.
She says the extra money will quickly be eroded by the rising cost of living.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said: “The £10 bonus has been the same for years. I remember my mum claiming it and she passed away 27 years ago. Even then it made little difference.
“I know the payment comes on top of benefit payments, but realistically, what can you buy with £10 today?” Ms Fisher added.
“The elderly and people on low incomes who are truly struggling deserve more.”
Another reader said: “It’s an insult. How far is £10 going to stretch at a time of year when heating bills and food prices are going up?
“I don’t think the Prime Minister understands how much of a struggle it is to live on a basic income.”
Is the payment fair or an insult? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below
The Department for Work and Pensions’ Christmas Bonus is a one-off tax-free £10 payment made in December to people who are in receipt of certain state benefits.
Households do not need to claim the payment. If you qualify, you should get paid automatically.
If you receive carer’s allowance, a state pension or certain other benefits, you will get a £10 in total.
This will be sent directly to the bank account where you receive your other benefits.
If you’re part of a married couple, in a civil partnership or living together as if you are and you both get one of the qualifying benefits, you’ll each get a Christmas bonus payment.
You should receive the tax-free payment in the two weeks before Christmas. It will likely appear in your account with the reference “DWP XB”.
The one-off sum will not affect any other benefits you are supposed to receive.
To get the bonus, you must live in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland during the qualifying week.
You are eligible if you receive at least one of the following:
- 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