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Bereavement Allowance

The Bereavement Allowance is a benefit for people whose spouse has passed away. It can be claimed up to 21 months after their death. It replaces the Widow’s Pension. 

What can I claim?

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 👇

Payment 1 Following instalments
Higher rate £3,500 £350
Lower rate £2,500 £100

To get the full 19 month allowance, you should claim within three months of your spouse’s death (sorry to be morbid…). The later you claim, the less you’ll be able to claim. 

There are also certain conditions that affect your entitlement to the Bereavement Allowance:

  • Your age
  • Cause of death
  • Your living arrangements
  • Whether you are bringing up children
  • Whether your spouse paid enough National Insurance during their working lives

And bear in mind, you’re not eligible to claim the allowance if you’re in prison. Not even if your spouse died before you went in.

How do I claim the Bereavement Allowance?

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. And if you’re abroad, you should call the International Pension Centre to apply. 

Anything else to remember?

You should keep in mind that the allowance is a taxable benefit. This means that if you file a Self Assessment, it will be included in your total income and you’ll pay Income Tax on it. You should also be aware of the fact that after a year of claiming it, the money you have left could affect your ability to claim another benefit.

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