Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Questions (249)

James Lawless

Question:

249. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason those in receipt of illness benefit will not receive the Christmas bonus payment which is paid to those in receipt of other social protection payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42405/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

I was pleased to announce last week that the Christmas Bonus will be paid again this year at a rate of 100% in early December.

Illness benefit recipients who are permanently incapable of work may be eligible for the non-means-tested Invalidity Pension (subject to satisfying the relevant medical criteria).  Those who are substantially restricted in undertaking suitable employment arising from a medical condition may be eligible for the means-tested Disability Allowance (subject to the relevant medical criteria).  All recipients of both of these payments are eligible for the Christmas Bonus, as well as additional benefits including free travel and the household benefits package.  In light of the above, and as Illness Benefit is a short-term scheme, recipients are not currently eligible for the Christmas Bonus payment.