BEREAVEMENT ALLOWANCE: Some people might remember it as the ‘Widow’s Pension’.
All of these must apply for you to get the Bereavement Allowance:
- Your spouse or civil partner died before the 6th of April 2017.
- You were at least 45 years old when your spouse or civil partner died.
- You are below the State Pension age.
- Your late spouse or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions. If not, their death must have been as a result of an industrial accident or a disease.
Note: Bereavement benefit rules changed for a death from the 6th of April 2017. Thus, you may qualify for the Bereavement Support Payment if this applies to you.
Bereavement Payment Eligibility
The Bereavement Allowance eligibility criteria means you will not get it if:
- You are bringing up children. If this applies to your situation you may be able to claim the Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead.
- You remarry or you form a new civil partnership with someone.
- You start living with another person as a married couple or in a civil partnership.
- You divorced your husband, wife, or civil partner before their death.
- You were over the State Pension age when you became widowed or a surviving civil partner. In this case, you may get extra State Pension.
- You are serving a sentence inside a prison.
Qualifying for other Bereavement Benefits
There are several other death benefits available, such as the Bereavement Payment. But, you do not need to apply more than once. A claim gets considered for all available bereavement benefits.
If you moved overseas you should contact the International Pension Centre to check whether you can claim. They will need to know your full name, date of birth, and your NI number (if known).
Department for Work and Pensions
Bereavement and widows’ benefits
International Pension Centre
Bereavement Allowance payments continue for up to 52 weeks from the date of the death. But, the amount you get varies on two main factors:
- The age of the surviving partner at the time of the death.
- The total level of National Insurance contributions paid by the deceased spouse or civil partner.
Bereavement Allowance Rates 2020
- 45 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £36.59
- 46 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £45.12
- 47 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £53.66
- 48 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £62.19
- 49 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £70.73
- 50 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £79.27
- 51 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £87.80
- 52 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £96.34
- 53 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £104.88
- 54 years old when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £113.41
- 55 years old to State Pension age when your spouse or civil partner died: Maximum weekly rate £121.95
Note: As a rule, the Bereavement Allowance gets paid into a bank account, building society, or a credit union account.
How Bereavement Allowance affects other Benefits
Once you start getting the Bereavement Allowance, the payments can change if you get any of these benefits and allowances:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Incapacity Benefit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
Note: Contact your nearest JobCentre Plus for further information. You can also use a benefits calculator to check how much you might get. It adds an upper limit to most benefits for most people aged between 16 and 64.
How to Claim Bereavement Allowance
You can either make an application by telephone or you can use a form.
Apply for Bereavement Allowance by Form
Download the Bereavement benefits claim form BB1 with guidance notes. You can also order it by phone from Jobcentre Plus. Fill in the BB1 claim form and deliver it to Jobcentre Plus or mail it to:
Dover Benefit Centre
Post Handling Site B
Note: Once the office gets the application form the maximum time the claim can get backdated is three (3) months.
Apply for Bereavement Allowance by Phone
Bereavement Service Helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Note: You can challenge a decision on your claim if you disagree with the outcome. This process is called asking for a mandatory reconsideration.
Reporting a Change in Circumstances
A change in personal circumstances can affect a claim for Bereavement Allowance rates. You must inform the office handling your payments by phone or by letter if:
- Remarry or form a new civil partnership.
- Start living with someone as married or in a civil partnership.
- Start to claim Child Benefit.
Challenging a Decision
There is a set process to follow if you disagree with a decision on Bereavement Allowance. As a rule, you must now ask for a mandatory reconsideration before making any appeal.