When a family member or friend you’ve been caring for passes away you may get some financial help from the government. But you’ll also find that they need to eventually stop your carer’s allowance payments. We’ve put together some info on what you’ll need to do if the person you’re caring for passes away and what help you may be able to get.
Carer’s allowance: What happens when someone dies?
If the person you care for passes away your carer’s allowance payments will stop 8 weeks after the person’s death.
You’ll need to contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit to let them know what’s happened. If you don’t tell them as soon as possible you could be overpaid. This means that you’ll have to pay back what you owe when you do get in touch.
How to stop carer’s allowance
Usually you can report changes to your circumstances as a carer online. But when the person you care for passes away you’ll need to contact either:
Contact the DWP Bereavement Service if the death of the person you cared for hasn’t been registered yet.
They’ll update your account so that your carer’s allowance stops at the right time. They’ll also talk to you about any other benefits you may be entitled to. Take some time to think about any questions you have about your benefits and write them down before you call. This will help jog your memory as you talk through what’s happened on the phone. Call the helpline on 0800 731 0469.
If the death of the person you cared for has already been registered you can use the Tell Us Once service.
If you were responsible for registering the person’s death then you may have already been told how to use the Tell Us Once service by the registrar. Some register offices will offer the service there and then. But some will refer you to the online portal. This service will report the death to several government organisations at once including DWP. So your carer’s allowance payments will be stopped at the right time as long as you use the service as soon as possible.
If you’re unable to use the Tell Us Once service you’ll have to contact the Bereavement Service at DWP instead.
What happens to your other benefits after the person you care for dies?
If you get carer’s allowance you may also get extra amounts added to your other benefits.
But what happens to them after you’ve told DWP about the death of the person you care for?
You may have been getting:
- Carer premium – like carer’s allowance this will continue for up to 8 weeks after the person passes away.
- Income support – this will also continue for up to 8 weeks.
- Universal credit – any additional money you’ve been getting as part of your universal credit may carry on until it’s reassessed.
Always check your specific circumstances with the Bereavement Service at DWP. They should be able to tell you what you’ll get and when it’ll stop. That way, you know what’s going to happen to your benefits in advance.
Finding it difficult to get through to DWP? Get in touch with Turn2Us. They’ll offer advice on what will happen to your benefits. They may even be able to put you in touch with a local advisor.
Is there a bereavement payment for carers?
No, not specifically. But the government does offer other financial support for people who have lost a partner or relative. See if the financial support below applies to you.
Bereavement support payment
This is given to people who have lost their wife, husband or civil partner. It’s not means tested and it’s tax free. But it could affect some of your other benefits at a later date. Read our guide to the bereavement support payment to check your eligibility and see what you could be entitled to.
Funeral expenses payment
If you already get other benefits from the government you may be able to get the funeral expenses payment. This helps cover the costs of a funeral when a family member passes away. Read our guide to the funeral expenses payment to see if you’re eligible.
Getting help after a bereavement
After caring for someone who passes away you may find that you need some emotional support. It can take some time to adjust when you stop your caring role. Speaking to someone may help. Carers Trust or Carers UK may be able to put you in touch with someone who knows what you’re going through. Or if you think bereavement counselling may help, Cruse offers free grief counselling services.