A 100% Christmas bonus will be paid to State pensioners and 4,700 Farm Assist recipients next week.
A total of 1.4m people, including carers, people with disabilities, lone parents and other long-term social welfare recipients, will receive a minimum payment of €20 from Monday 6 December 2021.
Total payments of over €313m will be issued to nominated bank accounts and post offices ahead of the Christmas period.
Announcing the measure on Wednesday, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys TD clarified that the qualifying period for people in receipt of an eligible jobseeker’s payment has been reduced to 12 months from 15 months and said that long-term recipients of the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) will also receive this year’s bonus.
Time spent on the PUP by individuals who have since moved to a jobseeker’s payment will count towards reaching the 12-month requirement.
In her remarks, Minister Humphreys encouraged bonus recipients to consider spending the State payment locally this year.
She said: “This past two years has been so difficult for our small and medium businesses.
“As a former Minister for Business, I know that our retail community are still feeling the impact of COVID-19.
“If we keep our business in our towns, we will keep our towns in business.”
Those who will receive the payment include almost 500,000 State pensioners, 124,030 widow(er)s, 39,590 one-parent families and 4,700 Farm Assist recipients.
Those in receipt of community employment payments (22,630), the Rural Social Scheme (3,150) and TÚS (6,730) will also receive the bonus.