If your spouse or civil partner has died, you may be able to get a grant from the government called the Bereavement Support Payment. This can help to ease some of the financial strain that comes with the loss of a partner.

But what is the Bereavement Support Payment, who is eligible, and how much can you expect? Here we’ll talk you through the Bereavement Support Payment regulations for 2017 on, and how to apply.


What is the Bereavement Support Payment?

The Bereavement Support Payment is a government grant for husbands, wives and civil partners who were bereaved on or after 6th April 2017.

Available across the whole of the UK, it was created to replace the Widowed Parents Allowance, the Bereavement Payment and the Bereavement Allowance.

However, you can still claim the Widowed Parents Payment if your partner died before April 2017.

Don’t forget: if you’d like the full Bereavement Support Payment, it’s important to apply within the first three months after the death.


How much is the Bereavement Support Payment?

There are two rates available, depending on your situation:

  • If you were pregnant, or had a child living with you when your spouse or civil partner died, you can get the higher rate. This is a one-off payment of £3,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £350.
  • If not, you’ll get the standard one-off payment of £2,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £100.


What are the rules on Bereavement Support Payment eligibility?

So far, so good. But who can claim Bereavement Support Payment? You’re eligible if all of the following are true:

  • Your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6th April 2017
  • They paid National Insurance for at least 25 weeks in a tax year, or died due to an accident or illness caused by work
  • You were under State Pension age when they died (you can check this here)
  • You were living in the UK or in one of the countries that offer bereavement payments

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to claim a Bereavement Support Payment if you’re serving a prison sentence, you’re divorced from the person who died or if you weren’t living with your partner when they died.

However, you can still claim it if you get remarried, move in or enter into a new civil partnership with someone else, although you should let the DWP know about any change in your circumstances.


How to claim Bereavement Support Payment

You can apply for the Bereavement Support Payment by post or by phone.

Applying by post

If you’d like, you can download the claim form for the Bereavement Support Payment here:

England, Wales and ScotlandNorthern Ireland

You can also order one by calling your local Jobcentre Plus – or in Northern Ireland, your local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits Office.

Once you’ve completed the Bereavement Support Payment claim form, it’s a good idea to double check it and make a photocopy for reference. The finished form should be taken to your local Jobcentre Plus, or posted to:

England, Wales and Scotland claims:

Bereavement Support Payment
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 2BS

Northern Ireland claims:

Bereavement Support Payment,
Mail Opening Unit,
PO Box 42
BT49 4AN

When you post the form, you can ask the Post Office if they can give you proof of postage – this is a document you can use if you need to prove when you made your claim later on.

Applying by phone

In England, Wales and Scotland, the Bereavement Support Payment contact number is 0800 731 0469. If you are in Northern Ireland, it’s 0800 085 2463. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Calls are free.


How long do you have to apply for the Bereavement Support Payment?

While you can claim the Bereavement Support Payment up to 21 months after your partner’s death, you need to apply for it within three months if you want to get the full amount:

  • For every month your application is delayed, you lose a monthly payment. This kicks in after the third month.
  • If you apply over a year after the death, the lump sum is brought down to the same amount as your monthly payments (so, £350 or £100).


Will you lose benefits if you get a Bereavement Support Payment?

It’s unlikely. The Bereavement Support Payment won’t have any impact on your benefits for a whole year after you get the first instalment.

Once that year is over, any portion you haven’t spent may potentially change the level of benefit you can claim, however.


Is the Bereavement Support Payment means tested?

No. Unlike the Funeral Expenses Payment, you don’t need to be on benefits or have a low income to apply for the Bereavement Support Payment.


Is the Bereavement Support Payment taxable?

Nope. You don’t have to pay tax on the Bereavement Support Payment at any point.


Other ways to get financial help

If you need help with funeral costs after someone close to you dies, and you’re not eligible for the Bereavement Support Payment, there are other avenues you can explore:


Print this guide