The Bereavement Support Payment UK is a financial support for people who have unfortunately lost their spouse or civil partner.
There are different types of payment depending on your age, income and whether you have children. It replaces the Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, previously the Widow’s Pension and Bereavement Payment. It isn’t means-tested – so its not affected by your income or savings and it’s usually made as a one-off payment followed by up to 18 monthly payments.
The amount you receive depends on your eligibility and when you make your claim.
Ideally you should claim within 3 months of your partner’s death to claim the full amount. Currently (at the time of writing in October 2023), if you claim within 12 months of your partner’s death, you may receive an initial lump sum payment of £3,500 and up to 18 monthly payments of £350. It is important to note that the full amount can only be received if you make your claim before February 9th, 2024.
You are eligible to receive the Bereavement Support Payment if:
If you were living with a partner as if married, you are eligible to receive the payment if your partner died on or after 6 April 2017 if:
If you reach State Pension age within 18 months of your partner’s death, you can make a claim but may receive fewer monthly payments. When your partner died you must have been receiving Child Benefit, Eligible for Child Benefit or pregnant.
If you do not receive Child Benefit, you must make a new claim for it in your name before you can apply for Bereavement Support payment. If your partner was receiving Child Benefit, you’ll need to make a new claim for it in your name before applying for Bereavement Support Payment.
Yes, you may still be able to claim the payment if your partner’s cause of death was confirmed more than 21 months after the death but you will need to call the Bereavement Service Helpline on 0800 151 2012.
You will need your National Insurance Number, your partner’s National Insurance Number, your bank or building society account details and the date your partner died. You can apply by phone, online (which takes about 30 minutes).
To qualify for this pension, you will need to meet one of the following criteria. Your husband, wife or civil partner:
The pension you may receive depends on your age and circumstances. For full details, visit the Government's website here.
You need to download a claim form from this website, or phone the Veterans UK helpline to ask for a form. The number to call from the UK (freephone) is 0808-1914218. The form should then be sent to:
This is quite complex and we suggest you are best placed to seek professional advice. When the new state pension was introduced on 6 April 2016, it brought about sweeping changes not just to how your own pension is calculated but also to the amount of pension you are eligible to receive on someone else’s contributions.
For people who reach state pension age under the new system, the amount you receive is based purely on your own National Insurance record. Married women can no longer claim on the contributions of their husband and divorced women can no longer claim on the record of their ex-husband.
There is, however, a limited provision for widows/widowers to claim on the basis of a late spouse. The amount of pension that may be inherited from the contributions made by the late spouse depends on whether your spouse came/would have come under the old or new state pension system – that is before or after 6 April 2016.
Where a spouse would have been claiming under the old state pension system – that is he/she would have reached state pension age before 6 April 2016, they would have come under the old pension system and would have built up a basic pension and an earnings related ‘additional’ state pension – known as SERPS. It may be possible for the widow/widower who had a spouse in this bracket to inherit a percentage of the SERPS pension that their late spouse received or would have received if they died before reaching pension age. This is based on a sliding scale based on the spouse’s date of birth.
If the late spouse would come under the new state pension, the provision for inheritance is much more limited. The Department for Work and Pensions looks at the state pension your spouse received or would have received if they had lived to pension age. If the pension was less than the full flat rate, you inherit nothing. If the pension was more than the full flat rate, the excess amount is known as a ‘protected payment’ and half of this can be inherited.
You need to be over State Pension Age to claim extra payments and how you claim and what you will get depends on whether you reached State Pension age before or after 6 April 2016.
This is so complex that you likely need to contact the Department of Work & Pensions but please note you are not eligible to claim anything if you have remarried or are in a civil partnership since your partner died.
This depends on a range of variables including the type of pension. The person who has died will usually have nominated you by informing their pension provider to pay you the money from their pension pot.
Generally, a pension from a defined benefit pot can only be paid to a dependant of the deceased – a husband, wife, civil partner or child under 23. This will be eligible for tax. If the pension scheme’s rules allow the private pension pot to paid to someone else it may well be taxed at up to 55% as an unauthorised payment. (See https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-pension-death-benefits for more information.)
There is an online contact form if you visit their website here.
Call the Pension Service on 0800 731 0469
The Pension Service
Post Handling Site A
You need to be over State Pension age to claim extra payments from your husband, wife or civil partner’s State Pension. What you get and how you claim will depend on whether you reached State Pension age before or after 6 April 2016. Contact the Pension Service to check what you can claim.
If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 you’ll get any State Pension based on your husband, wife or civil partner’s National Insurance contribution when you claim your own pension. You will not get it if you remarry or form a new civil partnership before you reach State Pension age. If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 you’ll receive the ‘new State Pension’ and you may be able to inherit an extra payment on top of your pension.
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