There are benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions that may be available after a death for a surviving spouse or civil partner or someone who has responsibility for the care of the children of the deceased. These benefits are not means tested but entitlement for some depends on the age of the claimant and the national insurance payment records of the deceased. There is no universal death grant.
Bereavement Payment This is a single tax-free sum of £2,000 payable to you after your husband, wife or civil partner has died.
This benefit depends on your age and national insurance contributions of your spouse/civil partner. This payment must be claimed within 12 months of the death.
Widowed Parents' Allowance or Bereavement Allowance These may be claimed by a bereaved spouse or civil partner, though it is not possible to claim both allowances. Eligibility is determined by the age of the claimant, age of dependent children and national insurance history of the deceased. These allowances must be claimed within 3 months of the death.
Guardians' Allowance This is available to those looking after children whose parents have died. In certain circumstances it may be available when a signle parent has died if the other parent is not able to assume parental responsibility.
Help towards the cost of the funeral is determined by means testing
Funeral Payment This is not a bereavement benefit but is a payment from the Social Fund which may have to be repaid depending on the nature of the deceased's estate. Eligibility is determined by both the value of the deceased's estate and the income level of the claimant. A claim must be made within 3 months. You need to be getting an income-based benefit already or be claiming for one to qualify in addition to the person who has died not leaving enough money to pay for their funeral.
Budgeting Loan From May 2012, a Budgeting Loan from the Social Fund may be used to help towards funeral expenses. The criteria are stricter than for the Funeral Payment and the money must always be repaid.
Other Benefits If you are bereaved or supporting someone who is bereaved and believe they may be eligible for other benefits, we will direct you to the appropriate helpline or other source of information.
Call us for more information about the current eligibility criteria and how to claim.