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.
The system of bereavement benefits, including Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent’s Allowance, changed to a new single Bereavement Support Payment introduced for new claims from April 2017.
This new system focusses support on the 18 month period immediately following the bereavement with an aim to cover the additional costs of bereavement.
Claimants will now receive a lump sum of £3,500 for people with children or £2,500 for those without.
Recipients with children can receive an initial larger payment of £3,500 and up to 18 subsequent monthly payments of £350, and those without children can receive an initial payment of £2,500 and up to 18 monthly instalments of £100.
The payments will be available to anyone up until their state pension age, they do not count towards means-tested benefits and are tax free.
You must claim within 3 months of your husband, wife or civil partner's death to get the full amount. You can claim up to 21 months after but your payments will be less.
This is available to those looking after children whose parents have died. In certain circumstances it may be available when a single parent has died if the other parent is not able to assume parental responsibility.
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.
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.
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 on 0800 634 9494 for more information about the current eligibility criteria and how to claim.