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Bereavement Allowance

If your husband, wife or civil partner dies, you may be able to get a weekly benefit called Bereavement Allowance (previously called Widow’s Pension).

Who is it for?

Bereavement Allowance was for anyone whose husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017. If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you won't be able to claim Bereavement Allowance. Instead, you may be able to claim a new benefit called Bereavement Support Payment

If you were living with another person as part of a couple at the time of their death, but weren’t married or in a civil partnership, you won’t qualify.

You must also have been aged 45 or over when your partner died. And you can’t get Bereavement Allowance if you’re over State Pension age. This is currently 65 years old for men and, for women, it’s gradually changing from 62 to 65. See the GOV.uk website to work out your State Pension age.  

How much could you get?

The amount you’re paid is related to your age when your husband, wife or civil partner died and the National Insurance contributions that they paid when they were working. For example, if their National Insurance record was incomplete, the amount you get may be reduced.

The amount ranges from £34.11 a week if you were 45 when your partner died to £113.70 if you were 55 or over (for 2017-18). You can get up to 52 weekly payments in total, from the date your partner died.

You can’t get Bereavement Allowance at the same time as Widowed Parent’s Allowance, but if your Widowed Parent’s Allowance ends within 52 weeks of your husband, wife or civil partner’s death, you can claim Bereavement Allowance for however much time remains of the 52 week period.

How to claim

It's no longer possible to make a new claim for Bereavement Allowance.

Bereavement Allowance was for anyone whose husband, wide or civil partner died before 6 April 2017. 

If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you won't be able to claim Bereavement Allowance. Instead, you may be able to claim a new benefit called Bereavement Support Payment. Widows whose husbands died before 9 April 2001 can continue to claim Widow's Pension.

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