A Bereavement Support Payment is for the death of a husband, wife or civil partner on or after 6th April 2017.
You can apply for a Bereavement Support Payment if:
- your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017
- you were under State Pension age when your spouse or civil partner died
- you were resident in the UK at the time of the death or live in a country where the UK has a relevant European Union or reciprocal agreement
- your spouse or civil partner had paid a minimum of 25 Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions in any single tax year during their working life
A Bereavement Support Payment won't affect any other benefits you receive but it is treated as capital so it can impact on income related benefit's you get if it takes your savings above a certain amount. It also isn't counted an income for the benefit cap.
- Re-marrying/entering a new civil partnership after the death will not affect your payments
- You must make a claim within 3 months of the death to be eligible for the maximum 18 monthly payments: you can wait up to 21 months, but then your payments will be less
- All payments are tax-free
- Payments paid monthly into your account
- Payments may be treated as savings for other benefits
How much can you get?
There are two rates of Bereavement Support Payment - standard and higher.
If you were pregnant when your spouse or civil partner died or if you were getting child benefit for a dependent child then you could get an initial payment of £3,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £350.
If you weren't pregnant or had no dependent children when your spouse or civil partner died then you could get an initial payment of £2,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £100.
Time limits for applying
In order to receive a payment for the maximum 18 months you need to make a claim within 3 months of the date your spouse or civil partner died.
To get the initial lump sum payment you must make a claim within 12 months of the date your spouse or civil partner died.
How to apply for a Bereavement Support Payment
You can contact the Bereavement Benefits section on 0800 085 2463 and request a form or you can download an application form online.
You can find out more information regarding Bereavement Payments by visiting NI Direct.