CPAG guidance on benefits and £500 bonus

thumbnail of 500 bonus and benefits_briefing_February2021This guide outlines how the £500 bonus for health and care staff affects those who receive Scottish and UK benefits and tax credits.

While the £500 bonus for health and care staff was welcome, the announcement left many details to be worked out with employers.  Some members have raised concerns about how the bonus will impact on the benefits they receive.

UNISON has worked with experts at Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) to produce this guide for branches.

The guide outlines which benefits are not affected and the which benefits might be affected. There are also clear indications of those circumstances where members will need to seek individual advice from benefits experts to enable them to make their own decisions.

The paper contains worked examples, lays out specific family and wage circumstances and how the bonus interacts with benefits, tax credits and universal credit.


None of the following benefits are affected by the payment. If the only benefits that you get, or your partner gets, are in this list, there will be no change to your benefit.

  • Attendance allowance
  • Bereavement support payment
  • Child benefit (but if the payment takes your earnings over £50,000 then you may pay more tax)
  • Council tax reduction
  • Disability living allowance
  • Guardian’s allowance
  • Industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • Maternity allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • State pension
  • Statutory adoption pay
  • Statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory shared parental pay
  • Statutory parental bereavement pay
  • Statutory sick pay

Those who receive other benefits should read the paper carefully and, where indicated, seek further advice.