Bereavement Benefits are for widows, widowers and surviving civil partners, the 3 types being:
- Bereavement payment:
A lump sum payment of £2,000 (tax free).
- Widowed parent allowance:
Payable if the claimant has at least one child or is pregnant when their partner dies. £105.95 a week is the maximum basic payment (taxable).
- Bereavement allowance:
Payable for up to 52 weeks. Claimants must be at least 45 when their partner dies.
How much you get depends on your age, from £31.79 at 45 year,s to £105.95 for between 55 years, and state pension age. (not taxable).
The deceased partner (and usually the claimant) must be under the state pension age. The deceased must have been paying National Insurance (NI) unless they died in a workplace accident or from certain diseases. Entitlement ceases when a claimant remarries or enters a civil partnership. If they co-habit with a new partner, payments are suspended. Bereavement benefit is not means-tested, but normally counts as income when calculating entitlement to other means-tested benefits.
Those on low incomes need help to pay for a funeral and may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. This money may eventually have to be repaid from the estate of the person who died.
Figures checked for correctness: May 2012.