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Bereavement Allowance

Find out more about Bereavement Allowance.

1. What is Bereavement Allowance?

Bereavement Allowance is a weekly benefit for widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners whose spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017.

If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You must be 45 or over but below state pension age

Type of benefit: Non means tested

Taxable: Yes

Administered by: JobCentre Plus, Department for Work and Pensions

 

2. Can I get Bereavement Allowance?

If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017 and you do not have dependent children, you may be able to get Bereavement Allowance. If you have dependent children, you may be able to claim Widowed Parent's Allowance instead. If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you may be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment

Bereavement Allowance depends 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 Bereavement Allowance if you are divorced, your civil partnership is dissolved or if you were living with someone else when your husband, wife or civil partner died.

Bereavement Allowance can be paid for up to 52 weeks from your husband, wife or civil partner's death but if you reach state pension age before the end of the 52 weeks, you will no longer qualify. 

 

Updated April 2017

 

3. How much Bereavement Allowance will I get?

How much Bereavement Allowance you could get depends on how old you were when your husband, wife or civil partner died.

The weekly rates are:
•    45 years old - £34.11 
•    46 years old - £42.07
•    47 years old - £50.03 
•    48 years old - £57.99 
•    49 years old - £65.95
•    50 years old - £73.91 
•    51 years old - £81.86 
•    52 years old - £89.82 
•    53 years old - £97.78 
•    54 years old - £105.74 
•    55 years old to State Pension age - £113.70


The rate of Bereavement Allowance may be reduced if your late husband, wife or civil partner did not pay enough national insurance contributions.

Updated April 2017

4. How do I claim Bereavement Allowance?

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

Telephone Jobcentre Plus for a claim form:
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language line: 0800 012 1888

Northern Ireland

Telephone claim

NI Bereavement Service: 0800 085 2463

Paper claim

Download a claim form from the NI Direct website

Telephone your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office

What documents will I need to claim Bereavement Allowance?

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 certificate of registration of death
If you do not have this evidence, you should not delay claiming.

When will my Bereavement Allowance claim begin?

A written Bereavement Allowance claim will begin from the date the claim form is received by the benefit office. A telephone claim for Bereavement Allowance will begin from the date of the telephone call.

A Bereavement Allowance claim can be backdated for up to three months before this date if you would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your claim is late. Request this when claiming.

Change of circumstances

Payment will be suspended if you start cohabiting whilst in receipt of Bereavement Allowance but it can be reinstated if you stop cohabiting and would still be entitled to the benefit.

Payment will stop if you marry or enter a civil partnership whilst in receipt of Bereavement Allowance.

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.

 

5. How do I challenge a Bereavement Allowance decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your Bereavement Allowance 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.

Further information on Challenging Department for Work and Pensions benefit decisions

Last updated: 3 March 2015