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Extra money you can get when someone dies

This advice applies to Cymru

You might be able to claim some money if your husband, wife or civil partner has died.

If they died on or after 6 April 2017 you can apply for Bereavement Support Payment.

If your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017

You might still be able to apply for Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent's Allowance. Apply as soon as you can because these benefits are being stopped.

Check if you can get Bereavement Payment on GOV.UK. This is a one-off payment and you need to apply within 12 months of your spouse or civil partner's death.

You might also be able to get ongoing 'allowance' payments. The last date you could normally apply for these payments was 5 July 2017 but you might still be able to apply if you didn't find out about the death straight away.

If you have children, check if you can get Widowed Parent's Allowance on GOV.UK.

If you don't have children, check if you can get Bereavement Allowance on GOV.UK.

How to apply

You'll only need to fill in 1 form for all 3 bereavement payments - the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will decide what you can get.

You can apply on GOV.UK:

Apply for Bereavement Payment
Apply for Widowed Parent's Allowance
Apply for Bereavement Allowance

If you need help with your application, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you need help to pay for a funeral

If you're on benefits, you might be able to get help. You can check if you can get a Funeral Expenses Payment on GOV.UK. You might be able to claim even if you weren't married or in a civil partnership with the person who died.

Claiming Bereavement Support Payment

You need to be under State Pension age - check your State Pension age on GOV.UK if you’re not sure.

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 countries when your spouse or civil partner died:

  • Austria

  • Barbados

  • Belgium

  • Cyprus

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Gibraltar

  • Ireland

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Jamaica

  • Jersey and Guernsey

  • Luxembourg

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Norway

  • Philippines

  • Portugal

  • Spain

  • Turkey

  • USA

  • Yugoslavia

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
Wolverhampton
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.

Ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to prove when you applied.

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

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.

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.

If your circumstances change

If you're getting ongoing payments, you'll need to tell the DWP about certain changes.

Tell them if you change your personal details, like your name or address.

You'll also need to tell them if you get married, form a civil partnership or start living with a partner. If you get Widowed Parent's Allowance or Bereavement Allowance, this means your payments will stop.

If you get Widowed Parent's Allowance, you'll need to tell the DWP when you stop getting Child Benefit for any of your children. You’ll no longer be entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance so your payments will stop.

The quickest way to tell the DWP is by phone.

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.

Make a note of the date and time you call. Also write down the name of the person you spoke to. You might need these details if you need to prove you reported the changes.

It's a good idea to write to DWP as well so you're sure they've got the right details - ask for the address or email address when you call. Ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to prove when you wrote.

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