Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

United Kingdom - Bereavement Benefits

In what situation can I claim?

Bereavement Payment is payable immediately following the death of a spouse or civil partner if the death occurs before state pension age and enough National Insurance payments have been made. If the death was caused by their job then you are entitled to this benefit, whether they paid National Insurance or not.

Widowed Parent's Allowance can be claimed if you have a least one dependent child living at home, if you are pregnant and your husband has died, or if you are pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has died. The Allowance will continue until you stop getting Child Benefit.

Bereavement Allowance can be claimed by a surviving spouse or civil partner aged between 45 and State Pension age.

Bereavement Support Payment is payable immediately following the death of a spouse or civil partner if the death occurs on or after 6 April 2017 but before state pension age and enough National Insurance payments have been made. If the death was caused by their job then you are entitled to this benefit, whether they paid National Insurance or not.

What conditions do I need to meet?

To claim a Bereavement Payment or Bereavement Support Payment  you need to meet two conditions:

  • The late spouse or civil partner has paid the necessary national insurance contributions, or their death was caused by their work, and
  • Neither you, nor your deceased spouse or civil partner, were entitled to a State Pension on the date of death, or you as the claimant were under State Pension age when your spouse or partner died.

The amount of Widowed Parent's Allowance you are going to receive depends on how much National Insurance contributions your late husband, wife or civil partner paid. However, if their death is caused by their work, then you can claim even if they did not pay National Insurance.

Bereavement Allowance can be claimed if you are all of the following:

  • you were 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died;
  • you are under State Pension age;
  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.

You cannot claim any of these benefits if you were divorced or had dissolved the civil partnership at the time of the death. If you live with another person as husband, wife or civil partner you will not be able to claim, and neither can you claim if you are in prison. 

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The Bereavement Payment is a tax-free lump sum of £2 000. Claims can only be backdated 12 months and are dated when the office gets them.

The maximum Widowed Parent's Allowance is £112.55 a week. Apply within three months of death to make sure you do not lose any money.

Bereavement Allowance can be paid for up to 52 weeks from the date your spouse or civil partner died. The amount you will be paid depends on:

The overall level of your spouse or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions and your age at the time of their death. The maximum weekly rate varies between £33.77 at age 45 to £112.55 at age 55 or above.

Bereavement Support Payments are paid as a first payment and then up to 18 monthly payments. There are 2 rates:

Rate

First payment

Monthly payment

Higher rate

£3,500

£350

Lower rate

£2,500

£100

The higher rate is paid if you get Child Benefit (or if you don’t get it but are entitled to it).

If you don’t get Child Benefit, you’ll get the lower rate unless you were pregnant when your spouse or civil partner died.

The Bereavement Pack mentioned in the ‘Forms to Download’ box below can be used claim all these benefits.

Forms you may need to fill in

Bereavement Benefits pack (form BB1) can also be ordered from your local Jobcentre Plus. The pack includes help notes on how to fill in the claim form. The pack covers the Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Allowance.

You can download a Bereavement Support Payment pack (form BSP1) or order it over the phone from your local Jobcentre Plus.

Know your rights

The links below set out your rights in law. They are not European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:

Commission publication and website:

Who do you need to contact?

To find out more about all the Bereavement Benefits covered in this chapter, contact:

Bereavement Service Helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469

If you are abroad, contact:

Department for Work and Pensions
Bereavement and widows’ benefits International Pension Centre Tyneview Park Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1BA
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 218 7608

Find Bereavement Services from your council in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.   

Share this page