Bereavement benefits

You can claim bereavement benefits if your husband, wife or civil partner has died. Co-habiting couples are currently not able to get bereavement benefits.

If you are making a new claim and your partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you will need to apply for Bereavement Support Payment. To claim this, you must have been under State Pension age when your partner died.

If you were divorced from your husband or wife when they died, you cannot claim Bereavement Support Payment. You also cannot claim if you were in a civil partnership that has ended.

How much bereavement benefits you could get depends on whether you have children or not.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can download a Bereavement Support Payment form (BSP1) from gov.uk/bereavement-support-payment

If you live in Northern Ireland, you can download a claim form from nidirect.gov.uk

Bereavement benefits can be paid to someone whose husband, wife or civil partner has died.

Currently, co-habiting couples are not eligible for bereavement benefits.

If your partner died on or before 5 April 2017, you may be getting one of the following benefits:

  • Bereavement Payment – a tax-free bereavement payment of £2,000.
  • Bereavement Allowance – a weekly payment of between £35.13 and £117.10 for people who were aged 45 and over, but under State Pension age, when their partner died.
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance – a weekly payment of up to £117.10 for people who have children or young adults and are receiving Child Benefit.

If you are making a new claim and your partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you will need to apply for Bereavement Support Payment.

If you claim Bereavement Support Payment, it is important to know the following:

  • You need to apply within 3 months after the death of your husband, wife, or civil partner, or you may not receive the full amount.
  • It will be paid for 18 months after the death of your husband, wife, or civil partner. This is to help pay for additional costs resulting from their death.
  • The amount you can get will depend on the National Insurance contributions your partner made.
  • You will not be affected by the benefit cap.

Who can claim?

To get Bereavement Support Payment, you must have been under State Pension age when your partner died.

You could be eligible if your husband, wife or civil partner either:

  • paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in any one tax year
  • died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work.

If you are already claiming Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance or Widowed Parent's Allowance, you will continue to get that benefit in the same way as before.

You can find out more about these older benefits at gov.uk

In Scotland, if your relationship with the person who has died was established before 4 May 2006, you may be able to get bereavement benefits, even if you were not married or in a civil partnership.

You cannot get any bereavement benefits if you were divorced from your husband or wife when they died, or you and your civil partner had ended your civil partnership. You cannot claim bereavement benefits if you remarry, or register another civil partnership.


How much you could get

How much bereavement benefit you could get depends on whether you have children.

If you are pregnant, or are getting Child Benefit for a child under the age of 16, you will get an initial payment of £3,500. You will also get this payment if you are getting Child Benefit for a child under the age of 20 who is in full-time education – this does not include a university degree or a course paid for by an employer. This initial payment will be followed by monthly payments of £350. You can get these monthly payments for up to 18 months.

If you do not have children, you will get an initial payment of £2,500. This will be followed by monthly payments of £100 for up to 18 months.


How to claim

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can download a Bereavement Support Payment form (BSP1) from gov.uk/bereavement-support-payment or order it over the phone from your local Jobcentre Plus.

For more information, call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469 or use textphone 0800 731 0464.

If you live in Northern Ireland, you can download a claim form from nidirect.gov.uk or call the Bereavement Service on 0800 085 2463.


Other support

You may also be able to get help towards funeral costs if you get certain benefits. For more information, call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 to speak to a welfare rights adviser. Or visit macmillan.org.uk/inyourarea to find out whether you can see a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person near to where you live.

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