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Claiming Bereavement Support Payment

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

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 Bereavement Service 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 Bereavement Service 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 Bereavement Service 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 application form from the nidirect website

  • order a Bereavement Support Payment application form by calling the Bereavement Service

  • apply over the phone by calling the Bereavement Service

Bereavement Service
0800 085 2463
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Calls to 080 numbers are free from landlines and from mobiles when you call from the UK.

If you order the form or apply by phone, 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 you need help to fill in the form, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

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.

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