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Bereavement Support Payment

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner (provided you have a child or children) has died, you may be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment to help ease some of the financial worries you may be facing. 

What is Bereavement Support Payment?

Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) is a benefit that you may be able to claim if your spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner (provided you have a child or children) died after 6 April 2017.

This benefit isn't means-tested, so you can make a claim regardless of your income or whether you're in work, but there are certain eligibility criteria. 

BSP has replaced the following benefits:

  • Bereavement Allowance (which was previously known as 'Widow's Pension')
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Bereavement Payment.

Can I claim BSP if I'm not married or in a civil partnership?

If you have a child or children and were living with your partner when they died, then you can claim BSP. 

On 9 February 2023 the law changed, extending BSP to cohabiting partners (provided the claimant has a child or children).

This law also applies to you if you could've claimed Widowed Parent’s Allowance, which was payable to bereaved parents whose partner died before 6 April 2017. The change doesn't apply to bereaved partners who don't have children. Contact the DWP Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0464 to make a claim.

The deadline to have your claim fully backdated if your partner died before 9 February 2023 has now passed. However, you can still make a claim and receive some backdated payments, but these will be much less than the full amount. 

How much Bereavement Support Payment could I get?

There are two different rates of BSP:

  • If you're not responsible for a child under the age of 20, you could get a lump sum payment of £2,500 followed by a further 18 monthly payments of £100.
  • If you are responsible for a child under the age of 20, you could get a lump sum payment of £3,500 followed by 18 monthly payments of £350.

These payments aren't taxable and aren't included when calculating your entitlement to means-tested benefits or the benefit cap. 

Am I eligible to claim Bereavement Support Payment?

You can claim BSP if:

  • the bereavement happened on or after 6 April 2017
  • you were under State Pension age when your spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner died
  • your partner paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in any single tax year since 1975
  • you were living in the UK at the time of the death (or another country that pays bereavement benefits).

Find out more about claiming benefits whilst living abroad on GOV.UK

Are you entitled to extra money?

Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.

How do I claim Bereavement Support Payment?

There are several ways that you can claim BSP.

You can:

You should claim Bereavement Support Payment within three months of the death to get the full amount. For every month later that you claim after this, you'll receive one fewer monthly payment. 

If your partner died before 6 April 2017 and you weren't married or in a civil partnership, you should make a new claim for Widowed Parent’s Allowance. To apply, you need to download the claim form and apply by post. 

Find out more about Widowed Parent's Allowance on GOV.UK

How will the changes affect my existing Widowed Parent's Allowance?

If you're currently receiving Widowed Parent’s Allowance you'll continue to do so at the rate of £139.10 as long as you're still receiving Child Benefit.

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Feb 15 2024

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