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Bereavement Payment

Key information

A Bereavement Payment is a one-off payment for widows, widowers or surviving civil partners.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You must be old enough to marry or enter into a civil partnership and must usually be below state pension age but see below for exception

Type of benefit: Non means tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: JobCentre Plus

 

Index

You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:

Who does it help?

You can get a Bereavement Payment if you are below state pension age when your partner dies. However, if you are over state pension age, you may still get a Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner was not getting category A State Retirement Pension when they died.

Bereavement Payments depend on the national insurance contributions of your husband, wife or civil partner. It does not matter if you have not paid national insurance contributions yourself. If your husband, wife or civil partner died because of an industrial injury, their national insurance contributions might not matter.

You cannot get a Bereavement Payment if you are divorced or if your civil partnership is dissolved or if you were living with someone else when your husband, wife or civil partner died.

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How much does it pay?

A Bereavement Payment is a one-off payment of £2,000.

The payment will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or by Simple Payment if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

A Bereavement Payment counts as capital so it may affect other means-tested benefits you get.

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How do I make a claim?

If you are getting State Retirement Pension when your husband, wife or civil partner dies, you do not need to make a claim for a Bereavement Payment. As long as you meet the other conditions you will automatically get a Bereavement Payment when you notify the benefits office of your partner's death.

Otherwise, the one off payment must be claimed within twelve months of the death. 

England and Wales

Telephone Claim

DWP Bereavement Service:
Tel: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0345 606 0285
Tel: 0345 606 0275 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0345 606 0295 (Welsh).

Paper Claim

Download a claim form from the Gov.UK website (link opens in a new window) 

Northern Ireland

Telephone Claim

Northern Ireland Bereavement Service: 0800 085 2463.

Paper Claim

Download a claim form from the NI Direct website (link opens in a new window)

Phone your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office (link opens in a new window) for a claim form

Tell us once service

Many local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland also provide a 'tell us once' service for bereaved people to report a death. See the Gov.UK website for more information on the Tell us once service (link opens in a new window)

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What documents will I need?

You must send originals of the following documents to support your claim (or show them at your local Jobcentre Plus office):

·         Your birth certificate

·         Your marriage or civil partnership certificate

·         Your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner's death certificate

If you do not have this evidence, you should not delay claiming.

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Challenging decisions

If you disagree with the decision made on your benefit claim you can ask for a written statement of reasons. If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

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Last updated: 7 April 2014

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