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Incapacity Benefit: Christmas Bonus

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit claimants received the £60 Christmas bonus in 2008-09; what the cost of such bonus payments was; and what the cost of such bonus payments to incapacity benefit payment claimants was in 2007-08. (259128)

The answer is in the following table:

Actual (2007-08) and forecasted volumes (2008-09) Christmas bonus payments to incapacity benefit claimants

Volume of payments (to be) made

Total cost (£ million)

2007-08

1,080,000

11

2008-09

1,174,000

80

Notes:

1. Expenditure figures have been rounded to the nearest £ million and volumes have been rounded to the nearest 1,000.

2. The total volume of payments made in 2007-08 is not available so the figure has been estimated from the total sum paid.

3. For incapacity benefit customers Christmas bonus payments are only made to those who qualify for the long term rate. Those in receipt of severe disablement allowance and combined incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance have been excluded from the estimates. Those in receipt of pension credit and disability living allowance are not included in these estimates as the Christmas bonus hierarchy makes payments to recipients of these benefits first.

The 2007-08 expenditure figure for the Christmas bonus includes the normal payment of £10. The 2008-09 expenditure estimate for the Christmas bonus includes the £10 payment and the pre-Budget report 2008 announcement of an additional one-off payment of £60 to all Christmas bonus recipients.