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How to claim bereavement benefits

Mae’r cyngor hwn yn berthnasol i Cymru

You might be able to claim some money if someone has died.

What you can claim depends on your circumstances and what your relationship was to the person who died.

Get help to pay for their funeral

If you get benefits, you might be able to get help to pay for the funeral of a partner, close relative, close friend or child you were responsible for.

You can check if you can get a Funeral Expenses Payment on GOV.UK.

Claiming Bereavement Support Payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died, you might be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment.  

Check if you're eligible

You can only claim Bereavement Support Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017. You can’t claim if you or your partner weren’t married or in a civil partnership.

You need to have been under your State Pension age when your partner died - check your State Pension age on GOV.UK if you’re not sure.

It doesn’t matter what your income is, if you have any savings or if you’re working.

Your husband, wife or civil partner must have either:

  • paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year

  • died because of an accident at work, or a disease caused by their work

When you apply, the DWP will check to see if your partner paid enough National Insurance contributions.

If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017

You might be able to get Widowed Parent’s Allowance if you look after a child you had with your husband, wife or civil partner.

Check if you can get Widowed Parent’s Allowance on GOV.UK.

The amount you’ll get depends on how much your husband, wife or civil partner paid in National Insurance contributions. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will check this for you when you claim. The most you can get is £119.90 a week.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance might affect other benefits you’re getting. You can use a benefits calculator to see how much money you’ll get.

How to apply

You can apply for Widowed Parent’s Allowance by filling in a form or calling the Bereavement Service helpline.

You can download a Bereavement Benefits form on GOV.UK.

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

Dover Benefit Centre
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 1LA

You can apply over the phone by calling:

Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language Textphone: 0800 731 0456
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Calls to this number are free

Reporting a change of circumstance

You'll need to tell the DWP if you change your personal details, like your name or address.

You should also tell the DWP if:

  • you get married, enter into a civil partnership or start living with a partner   

  • you stop getting Child Benefit for any of your children

These changes might mean you’re not entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance anymore and your payments could stop.

The quickest way to tell the DWP is by calling the Bereavement Service helpline.

It’s a good idea to write to the DWP as well, to make sure they’ve got the right details. When you call, ask for the address or email address you should write to. If you send a letter, ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to prove when you wrote to them.

You should also make a note of the date and time you call and the name of the person you spoke to. You might need these details if you need to prove you reported the changes.

Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language Textphone: 0800 731 0456
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Calls to this number are free.

Reporting changes on time

Once you know about a change that might affect the amount of ongoing payments you get, tell the DWP as soon as you can.

The change might increase your payment and you might miss out on extra money if you tell the DWP late.

You should still tell the DWP if you think a change might reduce your ongoing payments - you won't save money by reporting it later. If you tell the DWP late you could get paid too much and have to pay your benefits back to the DWP. This is called an overpayment - check how the DWP deals with overpayments.

If you weren’t living in the UK when your partner died

You can only get a Bereavement Support Payment if you were living in one of these places when your husband, wife or civil partner died:

  • Austria

  • Barbados

  • Bermuda

  • Belgium

  • Chile

  • Cyprus

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Gibraltar

  • Iceland

  • Ireland

  • Isle of Man

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Jamaica

  • Jersey and Guernsey

  • Kosova

  • Luxembourg

  • Macedonia

  • Malta

  • Mauritius

  • Montenegro

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Norway

  • Philippines

  • Portugal

  • Serbia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Turkey

  • USA

  • Yugoslavia

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.

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

You won’t be paid your Bereavement Support Payment if you’re given a prison sentence. If you’re on remand, your Bereavement Support Payment will stop but you’ll get any missed payments if you’re released.

When to apply

You should try and fill in the form within 3 months of your husband, wife or civil partner’s death to get the full amount of money. After 3 months, the DWP will count your application as late. You’ll lose one 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 husband, wife or civil partner’s death. If your application arrives after 12 months, you won’t get the lump sum.

How to apply

You can apply for Bereavement Support Payment by filling in a form or calling the Bereavement Service helpline.

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.

Read through the form 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.

If you send it by post, ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to prove when you applied.

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
Wolverhampton
WV98 2BS

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

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

Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language Textphone: 0800 731 0456
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Calls to this number are free.

Reporting a change of circumstance

You'll need to tell the DWP if you change your personal details, like your name or address.

You’ll also need to tell them if there are any changes to your Child Benefit.

The quickest way to tell the DWP is by calling the Bereavement Service helpline.

It’s a good idea to write to the DWP as well, to make sure they’ve got the right details. When you call, ask for the address or email address you should write to. If you send a letter, ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to prove when you wrote to them.

You should also make a note of the date and time you call and the name of the person you spoke to. You might need these details if you need to prove you reported the changes.

Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language Textphone: 0800 731 0456
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Calls to this number are free.

Reporting changes on time

Once you know about a change that might affect the amount of ongoing payments you get, tell the DWP as soon as you can.

If a change increases your ongoing payments, you’ll lose out if you delay.

You should still tell the DWP if you think a change might reduce your ongoing payments - you won't save money by reporting it later. If you delay you could get paid too much and have to pay your benefits back to the DWP. This is called an overpayment - check how the DWP handles overpayments.

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