Bereavement Allowance


Overview

Bereavement allowance (previously widow's pension) is a weekly benefit for widows, widowers or surviving civil partners. These benefits are not means-tested, so they are available to anyone regardless of their income level and can be paid whether or not you are working.

Eligibility

You may get Bereavement Allowance if all the following apply:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017

  • you were 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died

  • you’re under State Pension age

  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease

If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017 you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment instead.

You will not get Bereavement Allowance if you:

  • are bringing up children - you can claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead

  • remarry or form a new civil partnership

  • live with another person as if you’re married or in a civil partnership

  • were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner before their death

  • were over State Pension age when you were widowed or became a surviving civil partner - you may be able to get extra State Pension

  • are in prison

Use a benefits calculator to check your eligibility.

Other bereavement benefits

You may also be eligible for a Bereavement Payment.

You do not have to apply more than once - you’ll be considered for all bereavement benefits when you apply for one.

If you live abroad

Contact the International Pension Centre to find out if you can claim if you’ve moved abroad.

International Pension Centre

Telephone: +44 191 21 87608

Department for Work and Pensions

Bereavement and widows’ benefits

International Pension Centre

Tyneview Park

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

NE98 1BA

You must include your:

  • full name

  • date of birth

  • National Insurance number (if you know it)

What will you get?

You can get Bereavement Allowance for up to 52 weeks from the date your husband, wife or civil partner died. The amount you get depends on:

Your age at your husband, wife or civil partner’s death

Maximum weekly rate

45 years old - £36.59

46 years old - £45.12

47 years old - £53.66

48 years old - £62.19

49 years old - £70.73

50 years old - £79.27

51 years old - £87.80

52 years old - £96.34

53 years old - £104.88

54 years old - £113.41

55 years old to State Pension age - £121.95

How Bereavement Allowance is paid

Effect on other Benefits

Once you get Bereavement Allowance, payments may change if you’re getting any of the following:

Your JobCentre Plus adviser will explain how this works.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit you can get. It applies to most people aged 16 or over who have not reached State Pension age. Some individual benefits are not affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.