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You may be eligible to claim bereavement benefits after your partner has died. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has a telephone Bereavement Service that can take details of your partner’s death. The helpline will check if you can claim help with funeral costs or whether you are eligible for other benefits.

Basically, there are three different types of bereavement benefits that you may be entitled to:

  • Bereavement Allowance – a regular, taxable payment, paid for 52 weeks from the bereavement, and based on your late husband, wife or civil partner’s national insurance contributions (applicable if you are over 45 and not raising children).
  • Bereavement Payment – a one-off tax-free lump sum of £2,000 that’s based on your late husband, wife or civil partner’s national insurance contributions.
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance – a regular payment that you may be able to get if you are a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have a dependent child or young person (aged 16 and under 20) for whom you receive Child Benefit.
  • Funeral payments – if you’re on a low income, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund.

Changes in bereavement support payments from April 2017

Please note that the Department for Work and Pensions is introducing significant changes to bereavement support payments on 6 April 2017. We estimate these changes will leave 75% of widowed parents worse off in future. You can read about the changes here.

WAY has been campaigning against these changes alongside a coalition of charities led by the Childhood Bereavement Network. Please find out more about the campaign here - and help us to stand up for  widowed parents.

Useful Links

The Department of Work and Pensions website provides useful information about the bereavement payments and allowances you may be entitled to.

You can also call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0845 606 0265.