What is Bereavement Benefit?
Bereavement Benefit is a payment that may be made following the death of a spouse. They are usually available to both men and women who are under pension age.
There are three different types of bereavement benefit:
- A £2,000 lump sum Bereavement Payment is available if you are under state pension age when your husband, wife or civil partner dies. For more information visit www.gov.uk.
- A Bereavement Allowance (Previously known as Widow’s Pension) is available to you if you are between 45 and state pension age. It’s a weekly benefit paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife or civil partner. For more information visit www.gov.uk.
- A Widowed Parent’s Allowance is available if you are under state pension age and have dependent children. For more information visit www.gov.uk.
Am I eligible for a Bereavement Benefit?
All bereavement benefits depend on the amount of National Insurance contributions made by the deceased, unless they died as a result of an industrial accident or a prescribed industrial disease.
When you reach pension age, you may be able to claim a State Pension based on your late spouse’s National Insurance contributions, or use his or her record of contributions to increase any pension you are entitled to in your own right.
The total amount of money that you can claim may be limited or ‘capped’. This is called the benefit cap. It means that the amount you get for certain benefits may be reduced to make sure your total benefit claim isn’t more than the cap amount.
You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work, and either of the following apply:
- you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit
- you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your household income is more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance
How do I apply for a Bereavement Benefit?
You’ll be considered for all bereavement benefits when you submit your application.
Funeral payments can also help pay for the funeral of a close relative or friend if you’re on a low income and are struggling to cover the costs yourself.
Visit gov.uk for more information on eligibility and how to apply.
Where can I get benefits advice?
You can get benefits advice from a local independent service. They can help guide you through the application process and explain how some benefits may impact upon another:
- Citizens Advice Newcastle give advice to anyone in Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service give advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have self help material on their website.
- Search Newcastle give benefits advice to older people in the West of Newcastle
- Find more about benefit advice services in Newcastle
Other Useful Information
You may also find it useful to read our sections on:
- When someone dies: a practical guide
- Arranging a funeral
- Money Advice Service provides online information on the full range of benefits that you may be entitled to. This also includes where to find more help and advice.
- Cheques are no longer used to pay state benefits and Pension credit. Please visit the Simple Payment Service article on Information Now for more details on the service available to those unable to use bank accounts.
Last updated: May 3, 2019