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Here's when people will get their benefits from the DWP over the Christmas period

There are slightly different benefits payments dates for some people this Christmas, and you might be eligible for a bonus benefit. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the festive season

dwp benefits christmas/ bauble

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Here's the financial support you can expect from the DWP. Image: Unsplash

Christmas means that people could receive their benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on slightly different dates.

If your payment is due to hit your account on one of the bank holidays, you should receive your payment early.

There are also additional benefits paid over the Christmas and winter periods to help people get through the most expensive time of the year.

This includes a winter fuel payment paid to pensioners (which includes a cost of living payment), a warm home discount and a cold weather payment.

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Here’s everything you need to know about when DWP benefits will be paid this Christmas – including the exact dates to expect your payments, how much the Christmas bonus is, and whether you might be eligible for other benefits like the winter fuel payment, warm home discount and cold weather payment.

Will I get paid my DWP benefits before Christmas?

Some people will receive their benefits from the DWP slightly early, ahead of the Christmas bank holidays.

The usual rule is that if your benefits payment is due on a bank holiday or weekend, you will be paid on the last working day before your payment was due.

We checked with the DWP the exact dates you should get your payment. If you are expecting to be paid on the Christmas Day or Boxing Day, you will be paid on 22 December. That is the Friday before Christmas.

If your benefit is due on the 27 December, you should also get it on 22 December – unless you’re claiming universal credit, in which case you’ll get it as expected on 27 December.

If your payment is due on New Year’s Day, it will be paid on 29 December. For those expecting their payment on 2 January, you will either get it on 29 December or on 2 January (if you’re on universal credit, it’s 2 January).

How much is the DWP Christmas bonus? And who gets it?

The DWP Christmas bonus was a £10 top-up for people receiving certain benefits.

It is normally paid to people during the first full week of December (so this year, that was the week of December 4), so you should have received it if you are eligible.

To get the DWP Christmas bonus, you have to be receiving one of the following benefits: adult or child disability payment, armed forces independence payment, attendance allowance, carer’s allowance or support payment, constant attendance allowance, contribution-based ESA, DLA, incapacity benefit at the long-term rate, mobility supplement, pension credit – the guarantee element, PIP, state pension, severe disablement allowance, unemployability supplement or allowance, war disablement pension at state pension age, war widow’s pension, widowed mother’s allowance, widowed parent’s allowance, widow’s pension, industrial death benefit (for widows or widowers).

Head to the government’s website for more information about whether you could be eligible.

If you think you should the Christmas bonus but have not received it by 1 January, you should contact the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with your payments or the Pension Service.



Will there be cost of living payments in December?

Pensioners will receive cost of living payments as part of the winter fuel payment. Most payments hit bank accounts automatically in November and December.

The pensioner cost of living payment is between £150 and £300, depending on your circumstances. It is an additional sum for winter 2023/2024 to help pensioners pay for heating bills in the cost of living crisis. Find out more about the pensioner cost of living payment here.

There will not be cost of living payments for people on means-tested benefits in December. If you were eligible, you should have had the payment by 19 November. The next one will be paid in Spring 2024. Find out more about the cost of living payments here.

When will people receive the winter fuel payment?

People will receive the winter fuel payment in November or December. This is an additional benefit to help pensioners with the cost of heating over the winter.

You can get the winter fuel payment if you were born before 25 September, 1957 and you live in the UK.

It ranges between £250 and £600 depending on how old you are and who you live with. Find out more about the winter fuel payment here.

When will the cold weather payment be paid?

The cold weather payment is given out to low-income households when temperatures drop below freezing for seven consecutive days.

It is a £25 top up for each seven-day period of cold weather intended to help people cover the extra costs they have to pay for heating. It’s paid to people in receipt of certain benefits.

Find out more about the cold weather payment here.

When will people in Scotland receive the winter heating payment?

People in Scotland may receive a winter heating payment instead of the cold weather payment by the end of January 2024 .

It is a £55.05 payment which is given to people on low-income benefits who might have extra heating needs.

The money is paid by Social Security Scotland, having replaced the DWP’s cold weather payment for Scottish households.

You have to be getting a qualifying benefit to get the payment. These are universal credit, pension credit, income support, income-based JSA, income-related ESA or support for mortgage interest.

You have to get the benefit within a qualifying week. This is the first full week of November, which this year was the week beginning 6 November.

And there are specific criteria within the benefits too. Find out more about the winter heating payment and whether you could be eligible here.

When will the warm home discount be paid?

The warm home discount is applied directly to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March, 2024. 

It is a sum of £150 which is granted to low-income households with high energy costs. It is not paid directly to individuals, but it’s money that comes off your bill. You can find out more here.

Who gets the affordable warmth scheme in Northern Ireland?

The affordable warmth scheme is a grant in Northern Ireland paid to people who have an income of less than £23,000 a year. It is not available to people living in social housing. 

You could get help to install insulation, central heating and new windows to tackle fuel poverty.

The property must not be a holiday home, bed and breakfast or commercial establishment.

To make an application to the Affordable Warmth Scheme, people can contact the NI Energy Advice Service by phoning 0800 111 44 55 or emailing NIenergyadvice@nihe.gov.uk

A technical officer will then visit your home to assess what energy efficiency measures might be useful in your home and then, if eligible and funding is there, you may get a grant of up to £7,500 to make your home more energy efficient.

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