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Financial support when someone dies

Losing a loved one affects everyone differently, and you may need emotional, practical and financial support at this time.

You might be eligible for financial support from the government if your spouse, civil partner or close family member has died. This could include funeral costs.

It’s important to remember that these benefits may affect other benefits you claim.

Find more bereavement support (Bereavement Advice Centre)

Coping with bereavement (NHS)

What to do if someone dies (GOV.UK)

If your spouse or civil partner dies

Bereavement Support Payment

You may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment if your spouse or civil partner:

  • died on or after 6 April 2017 and was under State Pension age
  • paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks

After an initial lump sum, you’ll receive 18 months of payments. There is a standard and higher rate. You may receive the higher rate if you:

  • were pregnant when they died
  • or you claim or are entitled to Child Benefit

The standard rate is an initial sum of £2,500 and a monthly payment of £100. The higher rate is an initial sum of £3,500 and a monthly payment of £350.

Any payment you have left over after a year could affect other benefits you claim.

Call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469 for help with your application or if your situation is different.

Bereavement Support Payment (GOV.UK)

Warning

Claim within 3 months

You may have many other things to think about at the moment. But you must claim within 3 months to get the full amount.

You can claim up to 21 months after the death of your spouse or partner but payments will be less.

Help with funeral costs

You may be entitled to a Funeral Expenses Payment if you need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging. This is also called a Funeral Payment.

Your payment will be deducted from any money you get from the deceased’s estate. This does not include a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.

You must apply within 6 months of the funeral.

It includes funerals for:

  • spouses and partners
  • close relatives
  • friends
  • children

It will not usually cover all the funeral costs. You may be eligible if you claim certain benefits or tax credits.

See if you’re eligible for help with funeral costs (GOV.UK)

Warning If you’re grieving for a child

The following may be difficult to read if you’ve lost your child. If you’re not ready, there are organisations that can support you at this difficult time, including:

Child Bereavement UK

The Compassionate Friends

Care for the Family

If your child dies

No parent or guardian expects to lose their child, and it’s important to get the support you need. While you might not be thinking about money at the moment, there may be changes to your benefits.

Your Child Benefit may continue for 8 weeks after. If your child would have had their 20th birthday during those 8 weeks, the benefit will stop the following Monday.

If you become the main carer

You may be entitled to Child Benefit if you become the main carer for a child of someone who has died. Report the death online or by phone or post. Let the Child Benefit Office know:

  • the date of the death
  • where the child lives now
  • who is looking after them

Once they cancel any previous benefits, you need to make a new claim for Child Benefit.

You may also be eligible for Guardian’s Allowance, a tax-free sum of £17.90 a week on top of Child Benefit.

See if you’re eligible and make a claim (GOV.UK)

Arranging a child’s funeral

Arranging a child’s funeral is something no one should have to do. You may be able to get help to pay for some of the costs from:

Contact the UK funeral costs helpline (Quaker Social Action)

Advice on funeral planning (The Good Funeral Guide)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 29/10/2020

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