Service updates and advice
What is it?
Bereavement Support Payment is a benefit paid to widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners who are bereaved on or after 6 April 2017.
It replaced Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parents Allowance and Bereavement Payment from 6 April 2017. If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017 then you may still continue to receive these benefits which Bereavement Support Payment has replaced.
Am I eligible?
You may be able to get Bereavement Support Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017 and they had paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks before their death or died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work.
Also 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 Bereavement Support Payment if you are in prison.
Who pays it?
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
What will I get?
You will get a first payment which is a lump sum and then up to 18 monthly payments.
There are two rates of payment:
- Higher rate - £3500 first payment /£350 monthly payment
- Lower rate - £2500 first payment/ £100 monthly payment
You will be entitled to the higher rate if you are getting or entitled to Child Benefit.
If you don’t get Child Benefit, you will get the lower rate, unless you were pregnant when your husband, wife or civil partner died.
How do I apply?
The easiest way to make the claim is to do so over the phone. You can do this by calling the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469. Alternatively you can download and print the form from the DWP.
You should make the claim within three months of your husband, wife or civil partner's death to get the full amount. You can claim up to 21 months after the death of your husband, wife or civil partner but your payments will be less.
Any age limits?
You must have been under State Pension age when your husband, wife or civil partner died.
Is it National Insurance based?
Yes – adequate contributions by your late husband, wife or civil partner are necessary unless your spouse's or civil partner's death arose from industrial accident or disease.
Is it means-tested?
How long does it last?
Up to 18 months.
Any effect on other benefits?
The lump sum payment you get will not be taken into account for one year from the date that you are paid it.
After a year any payment you have left over from this lump sum could affect the amount of income based benefits you are entitled to.
You should tell your benefits office, for example your local Jobcentre Plus, when you start getting Bereavement Support Payment.
Can I challenge the decision?
You can challenge a decision about bereavement support payment if you are unhappy with it.
How to contact us
You can get in touch with us by emailing us at email@example.com or by calling us on 01698 332551.