A Guide to the Welfare System in the UK – Chapter 17
If you lose a loved one, you may be able to receive support from the government. The main source of support, in this situation, is Bereavement Support Payment. There is also other help available. Find out what you can get.
Bereavement Support Payment
- Losing a loved one, may entitle you to receive Bereavement Support Payment.
- You could be eligible if your partner died when they were under the State Pension age.
- You must claim within 3 months of their death in order to receive the full amount.
- The higher rate of payment gives an initial payment of £3,500 and the lower rate gives £2,500. Further monthly payments are available on top of this.
If you lose someone you love, the last thing you need is to have financial worries on top of everything else you are facing. The Department for Work and Pensions offers Bereavement Support Payment to help people through this time.
Eligibility For Bereavement Support Payment
You may be eligible for Bereavement benefits if your partner either made National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks of one tax year since 1975 or died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work. When your partner died, they must have been under the State Pension age and living in the UK or another country which offers bereavement benefits.
In order to receive the full amount of Bereavement Support Payment, you will need to make a claim within 3 months of your partner’s death. You can claim up to 21 months after their death, although you will receive a reduced amount.
Many people will be able to receive Bereavement Support Payment. The best way to find out if you are eligible is to call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469.
What you will Receive
If you are eligible to receive Bereavement Support Payment, you will receive a lump sum as an initial payment and then up to 18 further monthly payments. People who do not apply within 3 months of their partner’s death usually receive fewer monthly payments. There are 2 rates available; a higher rate and a lower rate. The higher rate is available to people who are entitled to Child Benefit or who were pregnant when their partner died.
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How To Claim Bereavement Support Payment
The easiest way to claim is by calling the Bereavement Service on 0800 731 0469. Alternatively, you can apply by post, by downloading the Bereavement Support Payment Form (BSP1) or collecting one from your nearest Jobcentre Plus.
Other Financial Support Available to People Who Suffer a Bereavement
In addition to Bereavement benefits, people who lose a loved one may also be able to get support through Funeral Expenses Payment, the Children’s Funeral Fund, Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay and Leave, Widowed Parent’s Allowance or a War Widow(er) Pension. On top of this, support may be available through Child Benefit, Guardian’s Allowance or Universal Credit.