A Bereavement Payment is a one-off payment for widows,
widowers or surviving civil partners.
Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and
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
Administered by: JobCentre Plus
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
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.
What help does it provide?
A Bereavement Payment is money that you can spend as you
want. It is paid into a bank, building society account or, in
some cases, a post office.
A Bereavement Payment counts as capital so it may affect other
means-tested benefits you get (see savings and capital
for people over Pension Credit age).
How much does it pay?
A Bereavement Payment is a one-off payment of £2,000.
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
Otherwise, the one off payment must be claimed within twelve
months of the death.
In England and Wales, the DWP Bereavement Service allows you to
report a death to the DWP in a single phone call. This allows you
to stop any DWP benefits the person who died was getting.
At the same time, the Bereavement Service can do a benefit check
to find out if you can claim any benefits and take a claim for
bereavement benefits or a funeral payment over the phone.
The contact details of the DWP Bereavement Service are:
Tel: 0845 606 0265
Textphone: 0845 606 0285
Tel: 0845 606 0275 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0845 606 0295 (Welsh).
Download a claim form from
the Gov.UK website (link opens in a new window) or
phone Jobcentre Plus for a claim form:
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language line: 0800 012 1888
In Northern Ireland
There is a Bereavement Service in Northern Ireland which allows
you to report the death of someone receiving Social Security
benefits. They will then:
- Record the date of death and notify each office that paid
benefit to the deceased person
- Offer you an eligibility check to see if you are eligible for
any benefits. If you are eligible for bereavement benefits, the
service can take the information for your application over the
phone and forward this to the relevant office.
You can phone the service on 0800 085 2463. See the NI Direct
more information on the Northern Ireland Bereavement Service (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
Download a claim form
from the NI Direct website (link opens in a new window)
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
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What documents will I need?
You must give your national insurance number and your partner's
as well as proof of who you are, for example, a driving licence.
You may also have to supply your husband’s, wife’s or civil
partner's death certificate, your marriage or civil partnership
certificate or other documents to support your claim for a
Bereavement Payment. However, even if you do not have this
evidence, you should not delay claiming.
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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
The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one
month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and
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Last updated: 7 April 2014