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What happens to benefits after a death?

If someone close to you has died, you may have some practical issues to deal with, including changes to social security benefits.

Some benefits may be affected by the death of someone you were caring for. You may also be able to claim bereavement benefits if your husband, wife or civil partner dies.

You may need to tell various organisations about the death. This process, combined with the emotional effects of bereavement, can be difficult to cope with. You can read more about how to tell organisations about a death here.

If you were getting benefits as a carer 

If you’re getting Carer’s Allowance or Income Support, your benefit payments can continue for up to eight weeks following the death of the person you were caring for. The Carer Premium in other means-tested benefits may also continue for up to eight weeks. 

Other benefits that are affected or that you can claim

Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment

You may be able to get a payment from the Social Fund for funeral expenses if you get one of the following means-tested benefits:

For more information, contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Bereavement Service  .

In Northern Ireland, contact the Social Security Agency Bereavement Service  .

Tax credits

If the person who died was getting tax credits, or if you were getting them together as a couple, the payments will need to be stopped. The tax credits office should stop payments when it’s told about the death. 

It’s important that payments are stopped, otherwise you may have to pay back some of the money. 

For more information about tax credits visit the GOV.uk website  .

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