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Bereavement benefits

Bereavement benefits are available to the surviving partner.

In England and Wales, Bereavement benefits are payments made by the Department for Work and Pensions to widows and widowers or to a surviving civil partner.

In Northern Ireland, Bereavement benefits are paid by the Social Security Agency to widows and widowers.

Bereavement Payment

A Bereavement Payment is a one-off tax-free lump sum payment of £2,000. You can claim it if you were widowed on or after 9 April 2001.

You must claim within twelve months of your husband's, wife's or civil partner's death, unless there are exceptional circumstances which mean that you did not know about the death or it was not confirmed.

Who can get a Bereavement Payment

You are entitled to a Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife, or civil partner who has died paid enough national insurance contributions.

If they died as the result of an industrial accident or an industrial disease, it does not matter whether they paid enough contributions or not.

To get Bereavement Payment you must have been below state pension age when your husband, wife or civil partner died, or - if you were over pension age - they must not have been entitled to state retirement pension, based on their own national insurance contributions, when they died.

Pension age is 60 for a woman and 65 for a man. You must have been married to your husband or wife, or in a registered civil partnership with your partner when they died.

How to claim a Bereavement Payment

If you are getting State Retirement Pension when your husband, wife or civil partner dies, you do not need to make a claim for a Bereavement Payment, as long as you meet the other conditions.

You will automatically get the Bereavement Payment when you notify the benefits office of your partner's death.

In other cases, you should claim a Bereavement Payment on form BB1. You can get this form BB1 from your local benefits office or, in England, Wales and Scotland, from the Jobcentre Plus website.

You must claim within twelve months of your spouse or civil partner's death.

When you claim a Bereavement Payment, you will have to provide your national insurance number and evidence that it belongs to you.

If you do not know your national insurance number but you think you have one, you should provide information to help the office to identify it.

If you do not have a national insurance number, you will have to apply for one before you can claim a Bereavement Payment.

You may also have to supply your spouse's or civil partner's death certificate, your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate or other evidence to support your claim for Bereavement Payment.

Don't delay your claim if you can't find this evidence.

Should you require help, ask an adviser at your nearest Citizens' Advice Bureau.

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