8 March 2006
If your benefits were interrupted in the week beginning the 5th December, perhaps because you had been wrongly found fit for work, it's worth checking whether you missed out on your Christmas bonus.
We've heard from a member whose incapacity benefit was stopped in November following a personal capability assessment. He appealed the decision and in February his incapacity benefit was reinstated and the money he'd missed out on repaid. However, on closer checking he discovered that his £10 Christmas bonus had not been paid. He contacted the DWP, who were adamant that he had been paid his bonus. He was told that the list of eligible claimants was created by computer on 30 October ready for payment on 5 December and his name was on it.
Our member pointed out that when the payments went out he was no longer in receipt of a qualifying benefit and so had not received the bonus. The DWP were adamant, however, that if his name was on the list he'd had the only bonus he was going to get off them. In the end, the they agreed to treat our member's bonus as a missing payment and he had to get proof from his bank that the payment had never been received before he finally received his - almost Easter - bonus.
So, if your benefits were interrupted over the Christmas period and then reinstated, it would be well worth checking whether you got your bonus.