Bereavement Payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get Bereavement Payment, which is a tax free one-off, lump-sum of £2,000.

Who can claim

You may be able to claim Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner had paid their National Insurance contributions or their death was caused by their job and:

  • you were under State Pension age when they died, or your husband, wife or civil partner was not entitled to Category A State Retirement Benefit when they died
  • the death was on or before 5 April 2017 (for deaths after this date, claim Bereavement Support Payment)

National Insurance contributions and Bereavement Payment

When you fill in the claim form you'll be asked to give your late husband's, wife's or civil partner's National Insurance number and details of their recent employment history.

This will allow the Bereavement Benefit section dealing with your claim to look into the National Insurance record and to work out if you qualify for Bereavement Payment.

Who isn't eligible

You are not eligible to get Bereavement Payment if any of the following apply:

  • you were divorced from your late husband or wife or the civil partnership had dissolved at the time of the civil partner's death
  • you are living with another person as husband, wife or civil partner
  • you are in prison

Bereavement Service

Call the Department for Communities  Bereavement Service, free of charge, if the person who has passed away was getting a social security benefit such as State Retirement Pension, Attendance Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Disability Living Allowance.

The Bereavement Service offers a single point of contact for reporting a death to the Department for Communities and also offers access to other benefits that you may be entitled to.  

How much you'll get

The £2,000 payment is a one-off tax-free lump sum.

How it's paid

Direct Payment into an account is the Department for Communities' normal way of paying pensions and benefits. It is a safe, convenient and efficient method of payment.

Effect on other benefits

The one-off Bereavement Payment does not generally affect your entitlement to other benefits. However your savings and Bereavement Payment may reduce the amount of means-tested benefits you get for instance:

How to claim

You can order a Bereavement Benefits pack (form BB1) over the telephone from the Bereavement Benefits unit. The pack has help notes on how to complete the claim form.

Claims can only be backdated three months for Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent's Allowance and are dated when the office gets them, so if you delay you may lose benefit. The time limit for claiming Bereavement Payment is 12 months.

What else you need to know

You’ll need to prove your identity when making a claim. You’ll also have to answer questions about your circumstances and show official documents to support the information.

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