How to Claim Bereavement Support Benefit

In the unfortunate event that your husband, wife or civil partner dies, then you may be entitled to bereavement support.

While this will in no way make up for your loss, the hope is that it will give you some security to prevent you from experiencing financial hardship due to the costs that are incurred when a spouse or civil partner dies.

Carry on reading for more information about what bereavement grants are available and whether you are eligible to claim, you can find out more information on dependency claims here.

Claiming Bereavement Support Payment

Bereavement Support Payment is a conglomeration of multiple forms of bereavement benefits (Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment, and Widowed Parents Allowance) that were available in the past, and applies to any bereavements on or after 6th April 2017.

If you are eligible for a Bereavement Support Payment, you will receive either a higher rate or lower rate payment plan. Each plan consists of an initial lump sum and then up to 18 monthly instalments.

To be eligible for the higher rate of support, you must either be entitled to Child Benefits or you or your partner must have been pregnant when your partner died.

The higher rate of support is an initial payment of £3500 followed by up to 18 monthly instalments of £350.

The lower rate of support is an initial payment of £2500 followed by up to 18 monthly instalments of £100.

Who is eligible for Bereavement Support Payment?

You will be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment if you were married or in a civil partnership and under the State Pension age when your partner died.

Your partner must have either paid National Insurance for at least 25 weeks in a single tax year since 6th April 1975, or have died because of a fatal accident at work or a disease that was caused by work. If this is the case, then we may also be able to support you in making any fatal accident at work claims.

Finally, you must also have been living either in the UK or any one of these countries that support bereavement allowance support.

The law is poised to change regarding who can claim. In Spring 2022, a new law is planned to come into place (which will be backdated to August 2018) that will enable unmarried, cohabiting parents to receive Bereavement Support Payment.

How to claim bereavement payment?

To claim Bereavement Support Payment, you need to contact the Bereavement Service helpline on 08007310469. You can also apply for a claim by post after filling in a BSP1 form, or by visiting a Jobcentre Plus office.

You will need provide your partner’s original death certificate, as well as both of your National Insurance numbers.

How long does bereavement payment take?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will aim to make the first payment into your bank or building society account as soon as they can after receiving your application for Bereavement Support Payment, provided that you are eligible. Usually, this ends up being a few weeks after you send your application.

To receive the full amount of instalments, you must claim within 3 months of the death of your partner. You can apply up to 21 months after their death, but if you apply after 3 months then you may receive less money.

Bereavement payment for next of kin

Bereavement Support Payment is currently only available after the death of a spouse or civil partner.

If your next of kin who you were dependant on died in a fatal accident, then you may be able to file a fatal accident claim to receive compensation for their death.

What is Widow’s Pension?

Widow’s Pension was one of the many forms of grievance allowance operating before 2017. In 2001 it was replaced by Bereavement Allowance which, in turn, has since largely been replaced by Bereavement Support Payment.

Widow benefits UK

Bereavement Support Payment is the most common form of benefit for a widow at the time of writing.

However, there may be circumstances where widows would be eligible for other types of benefits.

For example, if your partner died before 6th April 2017, you are not receiving Bereavement Support Payment, and you are entitled to Child Benefits, then you may be entitled to a Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

Also, if you are eligible for certain benefits, then you may also be able to claim funeral expenses.

Bereavement help with funeral costs

Funeral Expenses Payment is available to help you pay for the cost of your partner’s funeral provided that you or your partner are eligible for one or more of these benefits.

Claiming funeral costs

If you are planning to claim Funeral Expenses Payment, then you have six months to make the claim from the date of the funeral. You must have already paid for the funeral to receive Funeral Expenses Payment. If not, then it will be paid to the organiser of the funeral.


Can I claim bereavement if my partner dies?

If you were married or in a civil partnership, then you may be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment.

You must also meet other qualifying criteria that relates to your location, age, and your partner’s National Insurance contributions.

Can I claim bereavement payment for my parents?

At the time of writing, Bereavement Support Payment is only available following the death of a spouse or civil partner.

Can I claim bereavement payments for my child?

Currently in 2021, you cannot claim Bereavement Support Payment following the death of your child.

Child Benefit payments may be supported for 8 weeks after the passing of your child.

Can I claim bereavement payment for loss of my baby?

You cannot claim bereavement payment for the loss of your baby.

If you are eligible for Child Benefits, then you may be eligible to receive Child Benefit payments for 8 weeks after their passing.

Does Bereavement Support Payment Affect Universal Credit?

Bereavement Support Payment does not affect your benefits, including Universal Credit.

After a year has passed since your first payment, money that is left over could have an affect on the amount you would be eligible for if you were to renew or claim another benefit.

Are bereavement payments means tested in UK?

Bereavement Support Payments are not means tested. They also do not need to be declared to HMRC. However, you must declare your receipt of Bereavement Support Payment to your benefits office.

Is bereavement support payment taxable?

No, Bereavement Support Payment is not taxable.

Is bereavement support payment counted as disregarded income?

Yes, both the initial Bereavement Support Payment and the following monthly instalments are classified as disregarded income.

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