DWP cuts Xmas Bonus by backdoor in shock to Universal Credit claimants

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The DWP has revealed that claimants used to receiving the one-off Christmas Bonus on legacy benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), are no longer entitled to the additional money once they’ve moved onto Universal Credit.

The Christmas Bonus is a one-off, tax-free £10 payment made to people on certain benefits in the first week of December. It is designed to help with the extra costs of Christmas, a time when finances are pushed to the limit.

The bonus is given to anyone who receives 1 of 19 different types of benefits, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Carers Allowance, or those receiving the state pension.

£10 may not sound like a lot but, for someone on the controversial benefit, it can go a long way.

Single parents and those with a disability are some of the hardest hit by welfare reforms. Losing £10 IS a lot to them.

Last year my food budget was £10.50 a fortnight because I mistakenly took an advance from the DWP.

I used to be on ESA and would have usually received the payment by now.

However, as I’m now on Universal Credit it has not appeared despite me being on PIP. It appears that you must be on both “New Style ESA” as well as PIP to receive it.


DWP response

A DWP spokesperson said of the news;

“Universal Credit claimants have never received a one-off December payment, but many disabled people on Universal Credit will be better off on average by £100 month than when they received ESA.”

They added that Universal Credit claimants who receive PIP and contribution based ESA payments would therefore still be eligible for the benefit”.

Their response did not answer my question as to why those in the “Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity (LCWRA)” group on Universal Credit do not receive the payment.

This is the the comparable group to ESA’s “Support Group.”

Yet again the most vulnerable, disabled people, have been hit by another Tory welfare cut.

What’s worse in my opinion is; if nobody had spoken up about it, we wouldn’t even have known.


  • Hi you made a small typo as this line: “This is the the comparable group to ESA’s “Support Group.””, I’m not sure what you are getting at with: “the the” Regards Dave

  • I wondered why I hadn’t had any notification and I am not on UC yet I just get PIP and ESA.

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  • Getting the Christmas bonus has never depended on which group of ESA you are in, it is determined by whether you get contributions based ESA, or means tested ESA. If it is the latter, you do not, and never have, got the Christmas bonus. To clarify: you could be in the WRAG group, getting contribution based ESA, and you would get the bonus, but, if you were in the support group of ESA, and you got means tested ESA, you would not get the bonus. if you also receive DLA or PIP you would get the bonus based on that benefit, whichever group/type of ESA you were getting. Only means tested ESA is transferring to UC so they won’t get the bonus because they never did, UNLESS they were getting it to do with being on PIP or DLA then, they still should.

  • Gershom Gewissenmann

    Alex’s report is effective as ever, but , I have to take my hat off to Norma Roberts in her portrait of the Orwellian complications slowing down to stopping the system from it’s providing aid and comfort. Expanded on, Ms Roberts reveal would make a devastating performance on the truth as satire .
    I thank Norma for her contribution but I just could not hit ‘like” I was to..repelled ..creeped out..scared.