A person may be able to get Bereavement Support Payment if their husband, wife or civil partner has died in the last 21 months. It is intended to give financial support to deal with the more immediate costs caused by their death.
Otherwise, if it is claimed after this time frame, the person will receive fewer monthly payments.
A person could be eligible if their late partner either:
- Paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year
- Died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work.
When they died, they must have been under state pension age, and living in the UK or a country that pays bereavement benefits.
The list of these countries are published on the government website.
Furthermore, BSP cannot be claimed if a person is in prison.
It may be the payment can still be claimed if the individual’s spouse or civil partner’s cause of death was confirmed more than 21 months after the death.
Those in this situation are directed to call the Bereavement Service helpline.
If a husband, wife or civil partner have died before April 6, 2017, then the widow may be able to get Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead.
How much is Bereavement Support Allowance?
With BSP, the recipient gets a first payment and then up to 18 monthly payments.
There are two rates, called the higher rate and the lower rate.
For the higher rate, the first payment is £3,500 and the monthly payment is £350.
The lower rate has a first payment of £2,500, and monthly payments are £100.
The government explains if a person gets Child Benefit, or is entitled to it, then they will get the higher rate.
Those who don’t get Child Benefit will get the lower rate, unless they were pregnant when their husband, wife, or civil partner died.
If a person gets benefits, then for a year after the first payment, BSP will not affect their benefits.
After a year, however, any payment which the recipient has left over could affect the amount of benefit they’re eligible for.
“You must tell your benefits office (for example, your local Jobcentre Plus) when you start getting Bereavement Support Payment,” the government states, with regards to those who receive benefits.
Where a person lives affects how they should apply for BSP.
There are further details on how claiming for wherever they live in the UK, or if they’re abroad, on the government website.