Bereavement payments

There are a number of allowances and payments that might be claimed from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), towards the cost of a funeral and to supplement income for widows and widowers. These payments are based upon a number of factors including age, marital status, income and any existing benefits being claimed.

Funeral payment

This one-off payment is solely to help towards the cost of a funeral. Claims are dependant upon the circumstances of the person making the claim and not those of the person who has died. The claim is more likely to succeed if the person making the claim is currently receiving one or more of the following:

  • Income support 
  • Income-based bobseeker’s allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Council tax benefit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit

Bereavement payment

This is a one-off payment paid to a widow or widower only and is based on the deceased’s National Insurance contributions.  It is payable only to those who are below the state pension age (65 for men, 60 for women) and whose spouse was not entitled to a category A retirement pension when they died.

Bereavement allowance

The bereavement allowance is payable to a widow or widower aged 45 or over when their spouse died and who is not bringing up children, but are below state pension age.  Payment is based on the age of the widow or widower and on their late spouse’s National Insurance contributions.  Payments are made on a regular basis for 52 weeks from the date of death.

How to claim

Claims can be made by contacting the DWP Bereavement Service on 0845 606 0265.