Am I eligible for any benefits after the death of my spouse?

Make an enquiry

Got a question? Send a message to our lawyers.

Send an enquiry

Am I eligible for any benefits following the death of my husband or wife?

There are two kinds of benefits that loved ones left behind may be entitled to receive after the death of a spouse. These are:

  • Widowed parent’s allowance.
  • Bereavement allowance and bereavement payment.

Widowed parent’s allowance (WPA)

If you have at least one dependent child and are under state pension age, you may be able to claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance. You may also be able to claim if you are pregnant and your husband has died. You may even be able to claim if you are pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has died.

You can get widowed parent’s allowance until you stop being entitled to child benefit.

How much could you receive?

The amount you receive is based on how much your late partner paid in national insurance contributions. This can be up to a maximum of £112.55 per week. If your spouse has died as a result of an industrial accident or disease then it is possible that you may be able to claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance even if they did not pay National Insurance contributions.

The benefits cap limits the amount most people aged 16-64 can get. Whilst some individuals are not affected, it may affect the total amount of benefit you receive.

You can get Widowed Parent’s Allowance until you stop being entitled to Child Benefit. If your Widowed Parent’s Allowance ends within 52 weeks of your husband, wife or civil partner’s death, you may be able to obtain bereavement allowance for the rest of the 52 week period.

Eligibility for Widowed parent’s allowance

You may be entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance if all of the following apply: –

  1. You are under the State Pension age.
  2. You are entitled to Child Benefit for at least one child.
  3. Your late spouse or civil partner paid national insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.
  4. If you are pregnant and your husband has died, or you are pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has died.

 

You cannot claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance if at the time of the accident:

  1. Were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner when they died.
  2. You remarry or live with another person as if you are married, or as if you have formed a civil partnership.
  3. Were of state pension age when you were widowed.
  4. Are in prison.

 

Bereavement Allowance

You may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if you are widowed between the ages of 45 and state pension age. You can receive this allowance for up to 52 weeks from the date of your husband, wife or civil partner’s death.

How much will you receive?

The amount you will receive depends upon the following: –

  • The amount of National Insurance contributions your partner made.
  • Your age at the time of your partner’s death. For example, if you were 45 years old at the date of your partner’s death, the maximum weekly rate would be £33.77. If you were 55 at the date of your partner’s death you would receive £112.55 per week.

More information can be found on this at www.gov.uk/bereavement-allowance/whatyouwillget

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged between 60 and 63 can get. Whilst some individual benefits are not affected, it may affect the total amount of benefit you receive.

Eligibility for Bereavement Allowance

You may be eligible to receive Bereavement Allowance if all of the following apply: –

  1. You are 45 or older when your partner dies.
  2. You are under state pension age.
  3. Your late partner paid National Insurance contributions or died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.

 

You will not receive Bereavement Allowance if you: –

  1. Are bringing up children, as you would claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead.
  2. Remarry or form a new civil partnership.
  3. Live with someone else as you are married or in a civil partnership.
  4. Were divorced from your partner before their death.
  5. Were over state pension age when you were widowed or became the surviving civil partner.
  6. Are in prison.

 

A bereavement payment

You may be able to receive a £2000 bereavement payment if your spouse or civil partner has died. This is a one-off tax-free lump sum payment. You can get this payment if, when your partner died, you were:

  1. Under state pension age.
  2. Over state pension age and your partner was not entitled to state pension based on their own National Insurance contributions.

 

In addition, your partner must have either:

  1. Paid enough national insurance contributions.
  2. Died as a result of an industrial disease or accident.

 

You will not be entitled to a Bereavement Payment if you were:

  1. Divorced from your partner at the time of bereavement.
  2. Living with another person such as a husband, wife or civil partner.
  3. Were in prison at the time of your partner’s death.