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Bereavement benefits

If you have recently been bereaved you may be able to claim bereavement benefits and get other financial help

What you are entitled to depends on your individual circumstances, the following pages outline the different areas that may apply to you:

If your partner has died and you are over pension age

Pension age is currently age 65 for men and this is not due to change until 2018.

Women’s pension age is gradually rising.   By November 2018 it will be 65.  Women reaching their 60th birthday between April 2010 and April 2018 will need to check when they will reach pension age.

Minimum Pension Credit age is set in line with women’s pension age for both men and women.

 State Retirement Pension: If you are married and over pension age when your wife, husband or civil partner died you may be able to claim extra retirement pension based on their national insurance record if it is better than yours. This should be sorted out automatically by the Department of Work and Pensions once they have been informed of your spouse’s death.  You should only need to make a new claim if you do not already get a Retirement Pension.

 Bereavement Payment: If your spouse/civil partner was under pension age you may also be entitled to a one off Bereavement Payment of £2000 if they have paid national insurance. This should be sorted automatically as part of considering  whether you are entitled to any extra Retirement Pension.  You should only need to claim if you are not claiming your Retirement Pension

 Work or Personal Pensions: You may be able to inherit some of your partner’s personal pensions or pension from work. Each pension provider has their own rules.  You will need to contact the provider to let them know of your partner’s death and enquire about inheritance rights.

 Pension Credit: People over minimum Pension Credit age may be entitled to Pension Credit to top up their income.

If you were claiming as a couple you will need to make a new claim even if you were getting it before your partner died. Even if you have savings or a work pension, you might still qualify for Pension Credit.

The amount you get depends on your income including other benefits. You may be able to claim extra Pension Credit if you are paying a mortgage and for service charges.  Getting Pension Credit means that you are entitled to some health care benefits.

Contact the Pension Credit application line to make a claim.

Please note: Most of these benefits usually only apply if you have no restrictions on your right to remain in the UK. If you have an uncertain immigration status, please get further advice.

Also check the following sections:

  • benefits for children living with you (link to page)
  • other benefits you could be entitled to (link to page)