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)
What to do if someone dies (GOV.UK)
If your spouse or civil partner dies
Bereavement Support Benefit
You may be eligible for Bereavement Support Benefit 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 are 2 rates:
- standard rate, an initial sum of £2,500 and a monthly payment of £100
- higher rate, an initial sum of £3,500 and a monthly payment of £350
You may receive the higher rate if you:
- were pregnant when they died
- or claim or are entitled to Child Benefit
Any payment you have left over after a year could affect other benefits you claim.
Bereavement Support Payment (GOV.UK)
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.
You may be eligible for a single tax-free payment of £2,000 if your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017.
Find out if you’re eligible (GOV.UK)
You may be eligible for bereavement allowance if you meet all of the following:
- your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017 and had paid National Insurance contributions
- you were 45 or over when they died
- you’re under State Pension age
You’ll receive a weekly payment for up to 52 weeks from the date they died. How much you receive depends on your age when they died, and how much National Insurance they had paid.
This benefit may affect other benefits you claim.
Check how much you can receive and make a claim (GOV.UK)
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.
You must apply within 6 months of the funeral.
It includes funerals for:
- spouses and partners
- close relatives
It will not usually cover all of the funeral costs, but you may be able to get up to:
- £1,000 if they died on or after 8 April 2020
- £700 if they died before 8 April 2020
You may be eligible if you claim certain benefits or tax credits.
See if you’re eligible for help with funeral costs (GOV.UK)
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, and 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: 24/06/2020
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