Bereavement benefits

Bereavement benefits can be paid to someone whose husband, wife or civil partner has died. These benefits depend on the national insurance contributions of the person who has died.

Important changes

Bereavement benefits are changing and will be replaced with a single benefit called Bereavement Support in April 2016. For the most up-to-date information, contact a welfare rights adviser.

The following bereavement benefits are currently available across the UK:

  • A tax-free bereavement payment of £2,000 at the time of your husband, wife or civil partner’s death. You can claim this if you were under State Pension age when they died, or if they weren’t entitled to a State Pension.
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance of £112.55 a week. This is for widows or widowers, under State Pension age, who are bringing up a child for whom they are getting Child Benefit.
  • A Bereavement Allowance paid for up to 52 weeks for widows, widowers or civil partners who are aged 45 and over, but under State Pension age. The payments range from £33.77–£104.67 a week, depending on your age and when your spouse or civil partner died.

You may also be able to get help towards the funeral costs, if you receive certain benefits. Speak to a welfare rights adviser for advice.

Differences in Scotland

In Scotland, some unmarried partners may be able to get bereavement benefits.

In Scotland, there used to be a type of marriage called ‘cohabitation with habit and repute’. This referred to couples who lived together and were thought to be married. This type of marriage was abolished on 4 May 2006. If your relationship was established before this date, you are still considered married for bereavement benefit purposes.

How to claim

Details of how to claim bereavement benefits are on the form BD8, which you will be given by the registrar. If there’s an inquest, the coroner can also give you this information.

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