What is Bereavement Allowance?

Posted: 12/12/2017

Bereavement Allowance is a type of benefit provided by the government that is issued to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners. Bereavement Allowance replaced the benefit that used to be named Widow’s Pension.

If you have dependent children that you are looking after, you can claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead of Bereavement Allowance. Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) is also available for pregnant mothers who have suffered the death of their husband or civil partner.

 

mother-child

Eligibility

You are eligible for Bereavement Allowance if:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017
  • you’re under the State Pension age
  • you do not have dependent children
  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions
  • your partner died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work
  • you’re entitled to Child Benefit for at least one child and your late husband, wife or civil partner was their parent

You are not eligible for Bereavement Allowance if:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner died after 6 April 2017 (you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment instead)
  • you were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner when they died
  • you remarried or formed a new civil partnership
  • you were living with someone else (in a relationship) at the time of your partner’s death
  • you were over the State Pension age when you became a surviving partner or widow
  • you are in prison

Bereavement Allowance consists of monthly payments which are based on the deceased’s National Insurance contributions. Bereavement Payment is a one-off payment that is tax-free. Bereavement Payment enables one to receive up to £2000 if their spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017.

Bereavement Allowance cannot be paid alongside a State Pension. If you were under State Pension age when your partner died, your Bereavement Allowance will stop once you turn State Pension age.

The amount of Bereavement Allowance you will get depends on your partner’s National Insurance contributions and the age they were when they passed away. Here is an entitlement breakdown:

 

Your age at your husband, wife or civil partner’s death Maximum weekly rate
45 years old£34.11
46 years old£42.07
47 years old£50.03
48 years old£57.99
49 years old£65.95
50 years old£73.91
51 years old£81.86
52 years old£89.82
53 years old£97.78
54 years old£105.74
55 years old to State Pension age£113.70

 

Bereavement Support Payment

Bereavement Support Payment has now replaced Bereavement Allowance for people whose spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017.

Bereavement Support Payment consists of one initial lump-sum payment, followed by monthly installments.

You are eligible for Bereavement Support Payment if:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017
  • your partner paid National Insurance contributions for 25 weeks
  • your partner died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work
  • you were under the State Pension age when your partner died
  • you are living in the UK or a country that pays bereavement benefits
  • you are not in prison

If you are eligible for Bereavement Support Payment, you will receive one of two options:

 

  1. For people with children under 20 in full-time education: the first payment of £3,500, followed by up to 18 months of £350 monthly payments
  2. For people without children under 20 in full-time education: the first payment of £2,500, followed by up to 18 months of £100 monthly payments

A major difference between Bereavement Allowance and the new Bereavement Support Payment is that the maximum amount of time the new benefits can be paid for is 18 months, as opposed to the 20-year period that Bereavement Allowance offered to some.

 

How to Claim Bereavement Benefits 

To claim, you must fill in claim form BB1. You must submit your claim no longer than 52 weeks after the death of your partner.

The form consists of 10 ‘parts’, categorized as follows:

  1. ‘About you’
  2. ‘About your spouse or civil partner’
  3. ‘About children’
  4. ‘About other benefits’
  5. ‘How we pay you’
  6. ‘Other information’
  7. ‘Declaration’
  8. ‘What to do now’
  9. ‘What happens next’
  10. ‘About child tax credit’

After you have answered all of the questions on the form, enclosed all of the required documents, and signed the form, you must either give it to your local Jobcentre or send it to the following address:

Dover Benefit Centre
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 1LA

It is also possible to apply for Bereavement Allowance by phone. Contact the Department of Work and Pensions Bereavement Service here:

Tel: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0345 606 0285
Tel: 0345 606 0275 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0345 606 0295 (Welsh).

 

gov-benefits

 

If you have recently experienced the death of your spouse or civil partner and need help in arranging their funeral, visit us at Perfect Funeral Plans for further support and information on what to do next.