What is Bereavement Support Payment?
Bereavement Support Payment is a payment that may be made following the death of a spouse or civil partner. They are usually available to both men and women who are under pension age. From 9 February 2023, unmarried couples with children can claim Bereavement Benefits if a partner dies.
There is one bereavement benefit:
Bereavement Support Payment is paid at two rates. Higher rate if you also receive child benefit. Lower rate unless you were pregnant when your spouse or partner died. It is paid up to a maximum of 18 months for example it stops when you reach pension age
- Lower rate is £2,500 first payment then £100 a month
- Higher rate is £3,500 first payment then £350 a month
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. You should claim within three months of your spouse or civil partner’s death to get the full amount.
On 9 February 2023, the government extended Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement support Payment to the surviving co-habiting partners with children who were living with their partner at the time of death – with payments going back to 30 August 2018.
When they died you must have been:
- under State Pension age
- living in the UK or a country that pays bereavement benefits
You cannot claim BSP if you’re in prison.
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.
There is also a Guardian’s allowance if you are bringing up a child whose parents have died.
How do I apply for a Bereavement Benefit?
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.
Widowed Parent’s Allowance
Paid to those whose spouse or partner died before 6 April 2017.
The deceased must have satisfied National Insurance contribution conditions or died due to an industrial injury or disease. You must be under pension age and getting Child Benefit for a relevant child, or widows who are pregnant by their late husband or after fertility treatment. This may still be in payment. It cannot be paid with Bereavement Support Payment. It may stop if a person remarries or forms a civil partnership. It is suspended whilst the person is cohabiting and re-instated if that ends.
There were two other payments for a spouse or civil partner who died before 6 April 2017: Bereavement Payment lump sum and Bereavement Allowance payable for 52 weeks.
More details about Widowed Parent’s Allowance from gov.uk
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 (CAN)
- Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) give YHN tenants benefits and debt advice.
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service 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
- Age UK Bereavement benefits
- 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 Payment Exception Service article on Information NOW for more details on the service available to those unable to use bank accounts.
Last updated: May 19, 2023