What are they?
There are three types of bereavement benefit. These may be payable on the death of a husband, wife or civil partner. Whether you are entitled will depend on the National Insurance contributions your partner paid.
The three benefits are shown below.
• Bereavement Payment – a lump sum of £2000 paid to people who have been bereaved (who qualify).
• Widowed Parent’s Allowance – a weekly benefit paid to widowed parents (who qualify).
• Bereavement Allowance – a weekly benefit paid to people who have been bereaved (who qualify).
Are they for me?
If you started getting benefit before 9 April 2001 because you are widowed, you may be getting a widow’s benefit instead of Bereavement payments.
What are the benefit rates? (as of August 2009)
(lump sum) – £2000.00
Widowed Parent’s Allowance – £95.25
(standard rate) – £95.25
How do I claim?
You can order a Bereavement Benefits pack over the telephone from your nearest Jobcentre Plus office. The pack has help notes on how to complete the claim form. More information can be found in the leaflet Bereavement Benefits. Or you can download the claim form BB1 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website.
To make sure you do not miss out on any benefit due to you, you should contact your local Jobcentre Plus office to find out if you need to fill in this form. Once you’ve completed the form, send it to your nearest Jobcentre Plus office as soon as possible. Claims can only be backdated three months for Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent’s Allowance, and are dated when the office gets them. So if you delay, you may lose benefit. The time limit for claiming Bereavement Payment is now 12 months.
A Funeral Payment includes necessary burial or cremation fees, certain other specified expenses and up to £700 for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral directors fees, the coffin or flowers. If the person who died had a pre-paid funeral plan, you’ll only get help for items not already covered by the plan.
All payment/allowances are subject to criteria which will be determined upon form completion and guidance from your Department of Works and Pension/Jobcentre Plus office.
Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent’s Allowance are available in England, Scotland and Wales only.