You are here:
Proposals for reforming bereavement benefits were
published by the Government on 11 July 2012. This follows a public
consultation earlier this year on how bereavement benefit payments
should support future working-age widows, widowers and widowed
The proposals and the publication of a Command Paper,
Bereavement Benefits for the 21st Century: Government
Response, addresses concerns that the current system is too
complex and 'out of sync' with the needs of bereaved people.
The Government says it remains committed to providing financial
support after spousal bereavement, but ministers believe that
bereavement benefits should provide immediate support, instead of
longer term income replacement, which can discourage rehabilitation
into mainstream life, and harm long-term job prospects.
Under the current system, some people qualify for a lump sum
payout, while others receive regular payments for up to 20
Under the new proposals, the Bereavement Payment is expected to
be set at around £9,800 for a bereaved spouse or civil partner with
children and £4,300 for those without children and will be paid in
a lump sum, followed by instalments over 12 months. The payments
will also be disregarded from Universal
Credit and the Benefit Cap for a
period of 12 months.
This period is not intended to reflect the time required for
'recovery', but instead to provide a buffer for the immediate
financial impact of bereavement.
Ongoing financial need will be addressed through contributory
Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit, depending on
The new rules will come into force for new claimants after the
next general election.
Read the Department for Work and Pensions press release (link opens
in a new window)
Read Bereavement Benefits for the 21st Century: Government Response
(link opens in a new window)
Turn2us is part of Elizabeth Finn Care, a national charity registered in England and Wales: 207812; and Scotland: SC040987.
Hosted and supported by Positive Technology
Visit the Elizabeth Finn Care website