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UK Benefit Guide

Home | UK Benefit Guide | Bereavement Allowance


Bereavement Allowance is a weekly payment to widows and widowers for one year only. Based on their late husband’s / wives National Insurance (NI) contributions.

Are you?

* A widow who was aged 45 or over when your husband / wife died, or when your Widowed Mother’s Allowance ended?

* Not bringing up children?

* The widow of someone who has paid NI contributions?

If YES to all, claim Bereavement Allowance.

What else should I know?

If you are aged under 45 and do not have a dependent child or children you cannot get Bereavement Allowance, but you may get Widowed Parents Allowance if you have children.

If you were over state pension age when you were widowed you may get extra Retirement Pension based on your husband’s NI contributions, but you cannot usually get Bereavement Allowance.

If your husband / wife died as a result of his job you may be able to get Bereavement Allowance even if he/she did not pay enough NI.

You cannot get Bereavement Allowance if you were divorced from your husband / wife.

You cannot get Bereavement Allowance if you re-marry or if you live with a man / woman as if you are married to them.

Bereavement Allowance is not affected if you work.

How much will I get?

(Only use the amounts shown as a guide.)

Weekly amounts:

Standard maximum rate £121.95

Age-related Bereavement Allowance (standard rate reduced to these amounts depending on your age).

The amount is based on your age when you were widowed or when Widowed Mother’s Allowance ends.

Age = Amount

54 = £113.41
53 = £104.88
52 = £96.34
51 = £87.80
50 = £79.27
49 = £70.73
48 = £62.19
47 = £53.66
46 = £45.12
45 = £36.59

Widowed Parent’s Allowance

Men and women widowed after 09/04/01 who have dependent children will normally be eligable for Widowed Parents Allowance. Women who were widowed before 09/04/01 would be claiming Widowed Mother’s Allowance instead.

If your spouse met the National Insurance Contribution conditions the full rate of £121.95 a week is payable. This amount will be reduced if you are under 55 of if their National Insurance record was incomplete, unless they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.

Increases for qualifying children are £8 for one and £11.35 for any others. After 2003 child additions will need to be claimed via Tax Credits.

You may also get an additional pension from SERPS based on your spouses earnings.

Bereavement Payment

This is a tax free lump sum payment of £2,000 for those widowed since 09/04/01. You must be under pension age or if you are older then your spouse should not have been getting a Retirement Pension based on their own National Insurnace Contributions.

How do I claim?

Claim straight away. If you delay you may lose benefit.

Contact your Jobcentre+ or Social Security office for a claim form. There is one claim for all of the widow’s benefits.

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