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Claiming Bereavement Support Payment

This advice applies to England

You might be able to get Bereavement Support Payment if your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017.

You can apply for different bereavement benefits if they died before 6 April 2017.

Check if you’re entitled to Bereavement Support Payment

You can only claim Bereavement Support Payment if you were married or in a civil partnership.

You also need to be under State Pension age - and you must have been living in the UK when your spouse or civil partner died.

You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK if you’re not sure.

Your spouse or civil partner must have paid National Insurance for at least 25 weeks in a single tax year. When you apply, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will check to see if they paid enough National Insurance.

If your spouse or civil partner died because of an accident at work, or from a disease caused by their work, the rule about National Insurance doesn’t apply.

How much you can get

If you don’t have children, you can get a lump sum payment of £2,500 and monthly payments of £100 for up to 18 months.

If you have children or you're pregnant, you can get a lump sum payment of £3,500 and monthly payments of £350 for up to 18 months.

You won't have to pay tax on any of the payments, including the lump sum.

You won’t lose your Bereavement Support Payment if you marry, enter a civil partnership or move in with a new partner.

You won’t be paid your Bereavement Support Payment if you’re given a prison sentence. If you’re in prison on remand, you’ll still be able to get Bereavement Support Payment unless you’re later sentenced to imprisonment.

If you still have some of the lump sum left after a year, it could affect the amount of other benefits you can get. Your monthly payments won’t affect your other benefits. 

When to apply

You should try and fill in the form as soon as you can.

The DWP will count your application as late if you apply more than 3 months after your spouse or civil partner’s death. You’ll lose 1 monthly payment for every month your application is late.

To get the lump sum your application must reach the DWP within 12 months of your spouse or civil partner’s death. If your application arrives after 12 months, the lump sum will be reduced to the same amount as the monthly payments.

How to apply

You can download a Bereavement Support Payment claim form on GOV.UK or order one by calling your local Jobcentre Plus.

The form comes with notes to help you. If you need more help, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

When you've filled it in you should take it to your local Jobcentre Plus or send it to:

Bereavement Support Payment
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 2BS

Read through the form again before you send it to make sure you've answered everything properly.

Make a copy of the form if you can - you might need to refer to it later.

It’s a good idea to send the form by Royal Mail Signed For and keep the receipt - you might need to prove when you posted it.

You can also apply over the phone by calling the Bereavement Service helpline.

Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0345 608 8601
Welsh language: 0345 606 0275
Textphone: 0345 608 8551
Welsh language Textphone: 0345 606 0295
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calls cost up to 12p a minute from landlines, or from 3p to 45p a minute from mobiles.

Make a note of the date and time you call. Also write down the name of the person you speak to. You might need these details later in your application.

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