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Death and Bereavement Benefits

Few of the surviving relatives will be well-prepared for coping with a death in the family. The information in this section on death benefits explains how to reduce the burden on finances after a death. The list of bereavement allowances and death benefits can help to ease the financial worry. Check what you can claim for, when dealing with the loss of someone close who recently died.


Dealing with the death of a spouse or a civil partner is an emotional and challenging experience. It can become even more difficult for you as the surviving partner, if the situation means you are now living on a lower income.

So, let’s begin with some better news:

The rules of death and benefits provide some financial help for those who need it – and qualify.

So, you would be able to apply for certain payments following the loss of a husband, a wife, or a civil partner.

Bereavement benefits are available for married couples and those who were living together in a civil partnership.

Most death and bereavement allowances are not means-tested benefits. Death benefits can even help you pay for a funeral arrangements when you apply for a Funeral Payment (details below).

There is even better news for some individuals. Many of the bereavement payments often get awarded whether you are in work or not.

You need to register the death and arrange a funeral after someone dies. In some cases, you may also need to deal with the estate of the deceased person.

Death and Benefits Guide

There are two separate lists covering advice and guidelines about bereavement payments and funeral expenses.

  1. What to do following a death (e.g. registering the death, finances, notifying government departments).
  2. How to get the various death and bereavement benefit payments you are entitled to after someone dies.

Note: Clicking on any of the page links will take you through to the relevant section to get further details.

1. Help when Someone Dies

Benefits Calculators

You can use a benefits calculator to work out your entitlement rights. Benefit calculators are anonymous, free to use, and have now replaced the Benefits Adviser service.

Benefits, Tax and Pension

As a rule, the death of a spouse or civil partner affects your benefits, tax, and pension. Find out what you can claim and who to inform about a change in circumstances.

Council Bereavement Services

Local councils can provide expert support and help when you are coping with a death. Search online to find bereavement services from your council to see what resources they offer.

What to Do when Someone Dies

There are many things to deal with, and make decisions on, following a death. Check a step by step guide on the most important issues with extra help and advice on the legalities of death and bereavement.

BENEFITS GUIDE: The A to Z list of benefits and allowances covers all the categories of social welfare. Check out your rightful entitlement to get financial benefits in the United Kingdom.

2. Death Benefits You Can Claim

Bereavement Allowance

People who qualify for the Bereavement Allowance (was the Widow’s Pension) will get a weekly benefit. It is for people widowed from the age of 45 up to the State Pension age in the United Kingdom.

Bereavement Payment

Check how to claim the one-off Bereavement Payment which is also non-taxable. This DWP death benefit is for those bereaved by the loss of a spouse or a civil partner BEFORE the 6th of April 2017.

Bereavement Support Payment

The Bereavement Support Payment is a new death benefit for those bereaved by the loss of a spouse or a civil partner AFTER the 6th of April 2017. It is paid out to the most needy of bereaved citizens.

Child Benefit if a Child or Parent Dies

The death of a child, or any of the parents, is likely to have some effect on benefit claims. Find out how to get Child Benefit if a child or parent dies and how to make a new claim for arrears.

Children’s Funeral Fund for England

The new Children’s Funeral Fund for England (CFF) provides a bereaved parent with financial support for child funeral costs by covering the cost of paying for their child’s burial or cremation.

Funeral Expenses Payment

The DWP Funeral Expenses Payment aims to help people who are on a low income. Check to see if you can get the Funeral Payment to cover the cost of the arrangements.

Guardian’s Allowance

If you meet the eligibility criteria, it provides money for taking care of a child whose parents are no longer living. Check the current special Guardianship Allowance rates and how to claim.

War Widows Pension

The War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension gets paid at several different rates. That means your age and your family or household circumstances determine how much you can get.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA)

The Widowed Parent’s Allowance helps widowed parents under State Pension age. Find out how much you can get if you meet the widows parent allowance eligibility criteria.

Note: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) set out changes to extend bereavement support to cohabiting couples with children.

Death Benefits Guide for the United Kingdom