Bereavement Allowance

Information about Bereavement Allowance (formerly known as Widow's Pension)

Last updated: 21 June 2017

Please note that if your spouse or civil partner died on or after April 6 2017, you will not be eligible to apply for Bereavement Allowance. Instead you must apply for financial support via the new Bereavement Support Payment scheme.

After the death of a spouse or civil partner, you may find that you need added financial support to help you get back on your feet again. To help you, the UK Government provides a number of benefit plans that can give you extra financial support during the difficult months following your bereavement.

How it works

The Bereavement Allowance, previously known as Widow’s Pension, is designed to provide you with extra financial support for up to a year after the death of your spouse or civil partner. How much you receive from this allowance is dependent on the overall amount of National Insurance contributions your husband, wife or civil partner gave before they passed away and how old you were at the time of their death.

Your age when your partner passed away Maximum weekly rate
45 years old £34.11
46 years old £42.07
47 years old £50.03
48 years old £57.99
49 years old £65.95
50 years old £73.91
51 years old £81.86
52 years old £89.82
53 years old £97.78
54 years old £105.74
55 years old to State Pension age £113.70

Be aware that due to the benefit cap the benefits you already receive can be affected by the Bereavement Allowance. These benefits include:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit

Am I eligible for Bereavement Allowance?

You are entitled to receive Bereavement Allowance if:

  • you were 45 or over when your partner passed away
  • you’re under the State Pension age
  • your partner paid National Insurance contributions or their death was a result of an industrial accident or disease

You will be ineligible to get this support if you:

  • are bringing up children (you may be able to claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead)
  • remarry or form a new civil partnership
  • live with another person as if you were married to them or in a civil partnership
  • were divorced from your partner when they passed away
  • were over State Pension age when partner passed away (you may be able to claim extra State Pension)
  • are in prison

People who were in long term or live-in relationship with their partner, but were not in a civil partnership with them or married to them at the time they died, do not qualify for the Bereavement Allowance.

What do I do now?

To claim Bereavement Allowance, download the Bereavement Benefits Pack (form BB1) or order it over the phone from your local Jobcentre Plus. Once completed, take the form to your local Jobcentre Plus or send it to:

Dover Benefit Centre
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 1LA