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Chronicle Live
Elly Rewcastle

DWP bereavement support payments - are you eligible and how much could you claim?

Losing a loved one is always hard, and sometimes it can come with some unexpected high costs. Recent figures show that a funeral using a funeral director costs, on average, £3,837.

However, there is help available for those who need it in these incredibly tough times. The DWP’s bereavement support fund is there to help widows and widowers and many may not know they are entitled to the cash.

Here’s everything you need to know about the fund, including how much you could get and whether you could be eligible for it.

Read more: New Universal Credit monthly payment rates from April 2023

What is the bereavement support payments scheme?

The benefit is available to people whose husband, wife or civil partner has passed away. The aim of the fund is to help with unexpected costs, such as funeral fees or admin costs.

How much could I be entitled to?

There are two rates that could be available, a higher rate and a lower rate. Successful applicants will receive an initial first payment and then up to 18 monthly payments, they are as follows:

  • Higher rate: First payment - £3,500 with monthly payments of £350

  • Lower rate: First payment - £2,500 with monthly payments of £100

Anyone who receives Child Benefits or is entitled to it will be on the higher rate, Anyone who is not will get the lower rate, unless pregnant when their husband, wife or civil partner died.

You must claim within 3 months of your partner’s death to get the full amount. You can claim up to 21 months after their death but you’ll get fewer monthly payments.

Who is eligible for the payments?

Bereavement support payments are available to couples who were married or in a civil partnership. The surviving partner must be under the State Pension age when their significant other passed away and living in the UK or a country that pays bereavement benefits.

It doesn't matter what your income is, if you have any savings or what your employment status is. But, at the time of death, your spouse or partner must have 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 their work

After applying, the DWP will check to see if your partner contributed enough to National Insurance. You cannot claim Bereavement Support Payment if you’re in prison.

How to apply for the bereavement support payment?

Applications for the support money can be made online, by telephone or by post. To get started on your application you will need:

  • your National Insurance number

  • your bank or building society account details

  • the date your partner died

  • your partner’s National Insurance number

Will it affect my benefits?

Bereavement Support Payment will not affect your benefits for a year after your first payment. After a year, the money you have left from your first payment could affect the amount you get if you renew or make a claim for another benefit.

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