The Bereavement Allowance is a benefit for people whose spouse has died, and can be claimed up to 21 months after the death of the spouse. It replaces the Widow’s Pension. There are two rates available, depending on your eligibility: whether or not you claim or are eligible for the Child Benefit.
You can claim a lump sum then up to 18 monthly payments at one of the two following rates depending on whether or not you’re claiming (or eligible for) the Child Benefit. Those eligible claim the higher amount, those not claim the lower amount .
To get the full 19 month allowance, you should claim within three months of your spouse’s death. The later you claim, the less you’ll be able to receive. Be aware that if your partner died before 30th August 2018 or after 9th February 2023, you may only be entitled to a lower amount.
Here are the other conditions that affect your entitlement to the Bereavement Allowance:
You are not eligible to claim the allowance if you’re in prison, even if your spouse died before you went in.
If you’re based in the UK (unless you’re in Northern Ireland), you claim the Bereavement Allowance by either calling 0800 731 0469 or downloading a Bereavement Benefits pack (form BB1) and taking it to your local Jobcentre.
For those in Northern Ireland, take a look at your Bereavement Support options here.
You must have been under your State Pension age when your partner died.
Yes – since February 2023, cohabiting parents can claim the same bereavement benefits to help raise and support their children. This is also retrospective for families who were previously left out due to being unmarried but meeting all other criteria, so contact your local authority for further support.