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Bereavement benefits

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to claim bereavement benefits to help ease some of the financial worries you may be facing.


What are bereavement benefits?

Bereavement benefits are welfare benefits that you may be able to claim if your husband, wife or civil partner has died. These benefits are not means-tested and can be paid whether or not you are working.


What are the different bereavement benefits, and how much could I get?

  • If the bereavement happened on or after 6 April 2017, you may be able to claim a new benefit called Bereavement Support Payment.
  • If the bereavement happened before 6 April 2017, you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent's Allowance, or Bereavement Payment.

Bereavement Support Payment

Bereavement Support Payment consists of an initial lump sum payment of £2,500 (or, if you have children, £3,500) and a further 18 monthly instalments of £100 (or, if you have children, £350).

These payments are not taxable and are disregarded in the benefit cap and when calculating entitlement to means-tested benefits.

Bereavement Allowance

Bereavement Allowance (previously known as Widow’s Pension) is paid weekly for a year after the death of your partner. The amount of Bereavement Allowance you get depends on your age and your partner’s National Insurance contribution record, and is taxable.

  • If you’re aged between 45–54 you will get a weekly payment on a sliding scale of between £33.77 and £104.67.
  • If you’re aged between 55–State Pension age you will get a weekly payment of £112.55.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance

Widowed Parent’s Allowance is paid if you have dependent children and your partner has died. The amount you get depends on the National Insurance contributions paid by your partner. The standard rate is £112.55 per week and is taxable.

Bereavement Payment

Bereavement Payment is a tax-free lump sum of £2,000.


Am I eligible to claim?

You can claim Bereavement Support Payment if:

  • The bereavement happened on or after 6 April 2017
  • You are under State Pension age

You can only claim either Bereavement Allowance or Widowed Parent’s Allowance, not both. Bereavement Payment can be paid in addition to either of these.

You can claim Bereavement Allowance if:

  • The bereavement happened before 6 April 2017
  • Your spouse or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions
  • You are under State Pension age

You can claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance if:

  • The bereavement happened before 6 April 2017
  • Your spouse or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions
  • You’re under State Pension age
  • You’re receiving Child Benefit

You can claim Bereavement Payment if:

  • The bereavement happened before 6 April 2017
  • Your spouse or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions
  • You were under State Pension age when your partner died

How do I claim these bereavement benefits?

To apply for bereavement benefits you can either download a BB1 form from Gov.UK or order a form from your local Jobcentre plus.

How to get the claim form

Visit GOV UK to download the BB1 form


Further help

Each year up to £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit goes unclaimed by older people.

For more information call Age UK on 0800 055 6112

Last updated: Oct 10 2017

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