1.6 million people who are receiving long-term weekly welfare payments will receive their Christmas bonus this week.

The Department of Social Protection said it will pay €390 million in total, mainly to pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents.

One of the first groups to receive the Christmas bonus are recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

The Department said over 283,000 people who have been in receipt of a PUP payment - continuously or otherwise – for at least four months since March were paid the Christmas bonus this morning.

The total amount paid to PUP recipients today is €83.14 million.

The largest cohort of PUP recipients to receive the Christmas bonus are aged between 25 and 34.

92,266 recipients live in Dublin, followed by Cork (27,857), Galway (15,824), Kildare (12,226) and Kerry (11,377).