If you are newly separated or bereaved, you may need to tell pension providers and the benefit authorities about the change as it may affect your entitlement.
If your spouse or civil partner has died, you may be able to receive a proportion of their State Pension. If your spouse or civil partner has died, or you are divorced or your civil partnership has been dissolved, you may be able to increase your own State Pension based on their National Insurance (NI) contributions. However, there are different rules based on when you reach State Pension age. Contact the Pension Service to find out more or read our free factsheet New State Pension (PDF 360 KB).
You may also be able to receive a proportion of your late spouse’s or civil partner’s occupational pension, if they had one. If you lived with your partner but were not married or in a civil partnership, there’s still a chance you may be entitled to something. Contact your partner’s pension provider to find out more.
If you’re living alone, you should be able to get 25% off your Council Tax bill. You may also be entitled to means-tested benefits if your income and savings are below certain levels. These benefits include Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and help with your Council Tax bill.
If you qualify for any of these, you may be able to get other help such as a Budgeting Loan to pay for an essential item. For more information about benefits, download our free guide More money in your pocket and free factsheet Benefits for people under Pension Credit age.
Help from charities or benevolent funds
If you have claimed everything you’re entitled to and are still finding it difficult to manage, try asking for help from charities. You might be able to get a lump sum or regular weekly payments.
Benevolent funds help people in particular circumstances. Some, for example, are based on your occupation (or former occupation) or that of your former partner, including service in the armed forces.
Others are based on particular health problems or disabilities, or if you are a member of a trade union or have a particular religious belief.
To find charities that offer financial help, contact Charity Search, Turn2us or Grantsforindividuals.org.uk