State pension: Expert discusses when payments are made
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The state pension is a vital payment for many older people, but some would no doubt value a bit extra in their pockets. This is particularly the case as it is often an expensive time of year, whether it comes to buying presents, or the cost of keeping warm at home. State pensioners, however, are likely to be eligible for an extra bonus which they should look out for in the coming weeks.
Before Christmas, the DWP has confirmed it will be making a bonus payment to state pensioners and others.
It is aptly named the Christmas Bonus and is a one-off tax-free payment.
The bonus is issued to people in receipt of certain benefits and payments.
People usually do not need to claim, and should be paid their Christmas Bonus automatically.
The sum is currently set at £10 – which may appear small, but could provide peace of mind of covering at least one cost.
The bonus also does not impact any other benefits a person receives, so people can get it freely.
To be eligible for the Christmas Bonus a person must be present or “ordinary resident” in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar during the qualifying week.
The qualifying week is usually considered to be the first full week of December.
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State pensioners should expect to receive the Christmas Bonus, and the payment will be due before the festive season, but others may also be entitled.
This includes those claiming benefits such as Universal Credit, PIP, the Guarantee element of Pension Credit, and Attendance Allowance.
If a person has not claimed their state pension and is not entitled to one of the other qualifying benefits, they will not be able to get the Christmas Bonus.
While the payment is issued automatically, there may be some instances where a person does not receive it.
If they believe they should have, then they are encouraged to take action.
Individuals should contact the Pension Service, or alternatively the Jobcentre Plus office dealing with their payments.
The Christmas Bonus is usually paid into the account a person has specified to the DWP.
This could be a bank, building society or credit union account.
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Many people will also wish to check they have received the Christmas Bonus from the DWP.
They can do so by checking their statement, as the bonus is likely to appear as ‘DWP XB’ there.
The full new state pension currently stands at £179.60 per week, and is issued once every four weeks.
People are paid in arrears, for the last four weeks, rather than the coming four weeks.
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