There are three types of bereavement benefit. These may be payable on the death of a husband, wife or civil partner. The benefit you get may depend on your age or the number of children you have living with you. The amount you can get is based on your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions and usually only available to people under pensionable age.
The three benefits are shown below:
All bereavement benefit claims must be made on form BB1. You can obtain this form from your local Jobcentre Plus office or from the website at www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
It is important to note that there are time limits affecting all benefit claims. If you apply too late it may affect the amount you receive or you may receive nothing at all.
Widows, widowers and surviving civil partners who are not entitled to receive any bereavement benefits may, subject to the normal qualifying conditions, be entitled to income-related benefits in the same way as any other single person.Bereavement Payment
This is a one-off, tax-free lump sum payment of £2,000 which is payable immediately to help with costs arising on bereavement. It can be paid in addition to Widowed Parent’s Allowance or Bereavement Allowance.
You may be able to claim Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner had paid their National Insurance contributions or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease and either:
You were under State Pension age (60 for women and 65 for men) when they died
Your husband, wife or civil partner was not entitled to category A State Retirement Benefit when they died.
Bereavement Payments must be claimed within 12 months of the death of your spouse or civil partner.
After you are widowed you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance, the taxable weekly benefit paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife or civil partner.
If you’re a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have a dependent child or young person under 20 for whom you receive Child Benefit, you may be able to get Widowed Parents Allowance (WPA).
You may get WPA if all the following apply:
You may also claim WPA:
If you’re expecting your late husband’s baby or your late civil partner’s baby (including as a result of IVF) and you were living with them immediately before they died.
Your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of their work – even if they didn’t pay National Insurance contributions.
As with Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent’s Allowance must be claimed within three months of the death of your spouse or civil partner.
In Scotland, it was possible to claim a bereavement benefit if you had an ‘irregular marriage’. This means that you lived with someone as husband and wife and you were treated as though you were married. Most people will no longer be able to enter into an irregular marriage after 3 May 2006 however, you can continue to get bereavement benefit if you are already irregularly married.
You cannot get any of the bereavement benefits if you were divorced from your husband or wife when they died or you and your civil partner had dissolved your civil partnership. You are also excluded from claiming bereavement benefits if you remarry, or register another civil partnership. If you are getting a bereavement benefit when you remarry or register another civil partnership, it will stop. Even if you do not remarry or register another civil partnership, you cannot get bereavement benefits if you live with another partner.
You cannot receive bereavement benefits if you are serving a prison sentence.