Covid-19 Coronavirus

Winter Bonus and Additional Winter Bonus

Introduction

The Winter Bonus is a lump sum payment which is intended to help people who get low income benefits, or who have an income which is just above income support levels, with the extra costs of heating their home during the winter months.

The following describes the provisions for 2022 only. It replaces guidance previously issued.

A Winter Bonus will be paid to you automatically in January if you’re entitled to either:

  • income support
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance or
  • employed person’s allowance (EPA)

for any day in the week commencing 3 January 2022, and

  • you (or your partner, if you have one) are liable to pay housing costs for where you live, or
  • you (or your partner, if you have one) can be treated as if you are liable to pay housing costs for where you live (see below)

'Housing costs' for this purpose means: rent, mortgage interest payments, rates, property maintenance and buildings insurance.

The amount of Winter Bonus you’ll get is explained below.

If you live in a hotel, guest house, other lodgings or residential care you don’t qualify for the Winter Bonus.

People who qualify for a £450 Winter Bonus

You’ll normally be paid a Winter Bonus of £450 if you get income support and you qualify for either:

  • a pensioner premium, disability premium, incapacity premium or disabled child premium or
  • an allowance for a child aged under 5

as part of your income support.

If you haven’t reached state pension age yet, you must also have been entitled to a Christmas Bonus in November/ December 2021 to qualify for the £450 Winter Bonus.

But you may get a Winter Bonus of less than £450 if you share responsibility for the payment of housing costs, for example with a friend or family member who is not your partner. If this is the case, you’ll be paid a proportion of £450 according to how many people you share responsibility for the payment of housing costs with.

People who qualify for a £100 Winter Bonus

You’ll normally be paid a Winter Bonus of £100 if you get either:

  • income support (but you don’t qualify for the £450 payment as described above)
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance or
  • employed person’s allowance

and

  • you (or your partner, if you have one) are liable to pay housing costs for where you live, or
  • you (or your partner, if you have one) can be treated as if you are liable to pay housing costs for where you live (see below)

But you may get a Winter Bonus of less than £100 if you share responsibility for the payment of housing costs, for example with a friend or family member who is not your partner. If this is the case, you’ll be paid a proportion of £100 according to how many people you share responsibility for the payment of housing costs with.

People who may qualify for a Variable Rate Winter Bonus

You may be entitled to a Variable Rate Winter Bonus of either £75, £50 or £25 if you don’t get:

  • income support
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance or
  • employed person’s allowance (EPA)

but you have a low income, and

  • you (or your partner, if you have one) are liable to pay housing costs for where you live, or
  • you (or your partner, if you have one) can be treated as if you are liable to pay housing costs for where you live (see below)

You have to make a claim for a Variable Rate Winter Bonus. Please email us at ISP@gov.im or phone us on +44 1624 685053 and ask us to send you a claim form. You must make your claim before 3 February 2022. We will not be able to accept any claims made after then.

Your entitlement to a Variable Rate Winter Bonus will be assessed based on your circumstances and income in the week commencing Monday 3 January 2022.

How much Variable Rate Winter Bonus you may be able to get will depend on your circumstances, how much money you have coming in, and how much savings you have. If you have savings of less than £13,000 it won’t affect your claim.

If you have a partner who lives with you any income or savings they have will be added to your own.

You may get a proportional amount of a Variable Rate Winter Bonus if you share responsibility for the payment of housing costs, for example with a friend or family member who is not your partner.

Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to a Variable Rate Winter Bonus if your income is less than the amounts shown below. Please note that these amounts are only illustrative. The rules are complicated and it’s not practically possible to provide guidance covering all scenarios.

In calculating your income we’ll:

  • take into account your earnings (if you have any) after tax and National insurance contributions and one-half of any pension contributions and
  • ignore child benefit, disability living allowance and attendance allowance

If you’re paid earnings or a pension monthly we’ll normally multiply the monthly amount by 12 and the divide the result by 52 to give a weekly equivalent.

If you have a partner who lives with you any income they have will be calculated in the same way and added to your own.

If you’re struggling with paying your heating bills and you’re not sure whether you might be entitled to a Variable Rate Winter Bonus please contact us at +44 1624 685053 for advice.

If you’re a pensioner

  • If you’re living on your own and your income is less than £399.45 a week
  • If you live with your spouse or partner and your income is less than £503.40 a week

If you’re below state pension age

  • If you’re a single person with no dependents and your income is less than £332.50 a week
  • If you’re a couple with no dependents and your income is less than £388.75 a week
  • If you’re a couple with 1 child and your income is less than £482.50 a week
  • If you’re a couple with 2 children and your income is less than £538.75 a week
  • If you’re a lone parent with 1 child and your income is less than £426.25 a week
  • If you’re a lone parent with 2 children and your income is less than £482.50 a week

People who are treated as being responsible for the payment of housing costs

You or your partner (if you have one) may be treated as responsible for the payment of housing costs if you are:

  • severely disabled
  • a carer for a severely disabled person who lives with you or
  • responsible for paying the heating bills for your home

Additional Winter Bonus

A further lump sum payment which is also intended to help with home heating costs during the winter months will be made in March 2022.

This is called the Additional Winter Bonus.

Payment of the Additional Winter Bonus will automatically be made during March to all recipients of Income Support, Employed Person's Allowance and Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance who qualified for a Winter Bonus in January, as well as those who weren't getting one of those benefits in January but who are now doing so and who are responsible for housing costs or can be treated as such (see above). The payment is worth up to £100 depending on circumstances.

People who qualified for a Variable Rate Winter Bonus in January will automatically be paid an Additional Winter Bonus of the same amount as the Variable Rate Winter Bonus they received . They don't need to make a claim for the Additional Winter Bonus

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