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Bereavement Support Payment

Bereavement Support Payment is paid to widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners.

1. What is Bereavement Support Payment?

Bereavement Support Payment is a benefit paid to widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners who are bereaved on or after 6 April 2017.

It replaces Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parents Allowance and Bereavement Payment for people whose husband or wife died on or after 6 April 2017.  

It consists of an initial lump-sum followed by up to 18 monthly instalments.

If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017, you may be able to claim  Widowed Parent's Allowance instead.

The law is being changed to allow unmarried parents to claim. The law is likely to come into effect in early 2022, and will be backdated to 30 August 2018.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

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

Type of benefit: Non means tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: Jobcentre Plus

Nov 2021
 

2. Can I get Bereavement Support Payment?

If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you may be able to get Bereavement Support Payment.
 
If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017, you may be able to claim Widowed Parent's Allowance instead.

If you were co-habiting with someone and had children together but weren't married, the law is being changed to allow you to get Bereavement Support Payment. The new law is likely to come into effect in Spring 2022 and should be backdated to August 2018. 

Bereavement Support Payment 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 accident at work or a disease caused by their work, you might be able to get Bereavement Support Payment even if they didn't have an adequate national insurance record.

You cannot get Bereavement Support Payment if you were divorced or your civil partnership was dissolved when your husband, wife or civil partner died. 

Bereavement Support Payment can be paid for up to 18 months from your husband, wife or civil partner's death but if you reach State Pension age before the end of the 18 months, you will no longer qualify. 

November 2021

3. How much Bereavement Support Payment will I get?

There are two rates of Bereavement Support Payment: A higher rate and a standard rate. You receive one or the other.

Higher Rate Bereavement Support Payment

You are entitled to the higher rate if you were pregnant at the time your late spouse or civil partner died.

Or

You were entitled to Child Benefit at the time your late spouse or civil partner died.

Or

Since your spouse or civil partner died you became entitled to Child Benefit for a child or young person who was living with you or your late spouse or civil partner immediately before they died.

If you are entitled to the higher rate, you will receive an initial lump sum of £3,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £350.

Standard Rate Bereavement Support Payment

If you are not entitled to the higher rate, you receive the standard rate instead. 

The standard rate is an initial lump-sum payment of £2,500 followed by up to 18 monthly instalments of £100.

How much Bereavement Support Payment you could get depends on when you claim Bereavement Support Payment.

If you claim within three months of your husband, wife or civil partner's death, your claim will be backdated to the date of the death. If you claim more than three month's after the death, your claim will be backdated by three months. However, this might mean you miss out on some entitlement. For example, someone who claims six months after their husband dies will only get a total of 15 months Bereavement Support Payment. 

To get the initial lump sum, you have to claim within 12 months of your husband, wife or civil partner's death.

Bereavement Support Payment and Other Benefits

Bereavement Support Payment is ignored as income for working out entitlement to other benefits.

Benefit Cap

Bereavement Support Payment will not be included as income for the Benefit Cap.

Reviewed Nov 2021

4. How do I claim Bereavement Support Payment?

England, Scotland and Wales

Telephone claim

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Bereavement Service:

 Tel: 0800 731 0469

 Textphone: 0800 731 0464

 Tel: 0800 731 0453 (Welsh)

 Textphone: 0800 731 0456 (Welsh)

Using the Video Relay Service service for people who use British Sign Language (BSL).

Paper claim

Download a Bereavement Support Payment claim form from the Gov.UK website

Northern Ireland

Telephone claim

Northern Ireland (NI) Bereavement Service: 0800 085 2463

Paper claim

Download a Bereavement Support Payment claim form from the NI Direct website

Using the video relay service for people who use British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL).

What documents will I need to claim Bereavement Support Payment?

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

  • 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 Support Payment claim begin?

Your claim will start on the date your spouse or civil partner died if your claim is received at the benefit office within three months from the date you are bereaved.

If three months or more have passed since your spouse or civil partner died, the date of claim will be backdated three months from the date your form is received at the benefit office.

If more than 21 months have passed since your spouse or civil partner has died and you have not made a claim, you will not be entitled to receive a Bereavement Support Payment.

Change of circumstances

Payment will continue even if you remarry, enter a civil partnership or start cohabiting.

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

Reviewed: November 2021