Bereavement support payment: can you get it?

mans hands holding pen and signing paperwork on a table

When your partner passes away and you’re worried about how to cope it may help to know that you may be able to get some financial support from the government. Learn more about the bereavement support payment below and see if you’re eligible to make a claim.

What is the bereavement support payment?

The bereavement support payment is financial help offered by the UK government when your partner passes away.

It used to be called bereavement allowance. You may have also known it as widow’s pension or widowed parent’s allowance. But these have all been replaced by the bereavement support payment to help people who’ve lost their partners.

Who is eligible for bereavement support payment?

You can get the bereavement support payment from the government if your husband, wife or civil partner passed away in the last 21 months.

You’ll be eligible if:

To get the bereavement support payment you must also be under the state pension age and living in the UK (or a country that offers bereavement benefits) at the time your partner passed away.

You can’t currently get the bereavement support payment if you lived with and had children with a partner who passed away. You must have been married or in a civil partnership. But the law stating this could change in the near future.

You can’t get the bereavement support payment if you’re in prison.

Can you still make a claim if your partner died more than 21 months ago?

You’ll only be able to make a claim for the bereavement support payment in this case if your partner’s cause of death was not confirmed until more than 21 months later. If you think this may apply to you get in touch with the Bereavement Service Helpline on 0800 151 2012 for more info and next steps.

How much is the bereavement support payment?

There are 2 rates for the bereavement support payment depending on your circumstances. No matter which rate applies to you, make sure you make a claim within 3 months of your partner passing away. Otherwise you may get fewer monthly payments.

 

Higher rate
Initial payment Monthly payments You’ll get this rate if:
£3,500 £350 You’re pregnant when your partner passed away.

 

You get child benefit.

 

Or you’re eligible for child benefit and don’t receive it.

 

 

Lower Rate
Initial payment Monthly payments You’ll get this rate if:
£2,500 £100 You don’t receive and are not eligible for child benefit.

 

How long do you get bereavement support payment for?

The first payment will be paid within the first month after you make your claim. Then the monthly payments will continue for 18 months as long as you made your claim within 3 months of your partner passing away.

Is the bereavement support payment means tested?

No. Applications for the bereavement support payment are not means tested. This means that the payment you get won’t be affected by your savings or how much money you earn.

Does the bereavement support payment affect universal credit?

It won’t affect your universal credit or any other benefits you get for a year after you get your first instalment.

But after the year is up any money you have left over from the first instalment could be taken into account for any means tested benefits you get.

These means tested benefits include:

Keep in mind that anything you have leftover from the bereavement support payment after 12 months could be considered as savings. So check the current savings limit for means tested benefits once you’ve stopped receiving the bereavement support payments. It could have an impact on your benefits.

Is the bereavement support payment taxable?

No. The bereavement support payment is tax free.

How to claim bereavement support payment

Apply for bereavement support payment online, by post or by calling the Bereavement Service Helpline on 0800 151 2012.

To make a claim you’ll need:

To apply by post you can either download the forms online or get in touch with your nearest JobCentre Plus. They can send you one through the post if you can’t print it off at home.

Still worried about money?

You may be able to get additional support from the government or other organisations after the death of a loved one. This could go some way to helping you cover funeral costs so that you can remember them in the way you’d like. Read our guide on how to get help with funeral costs for more info.

 

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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