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 regardles of their income level and can be paid whether or not you are working.
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
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
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:
- the overall level of your husband, wife or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions
- your age at the time of their death
Your age at your husband, wife or civil partner’s deathMaximum 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
Bereavement Allowance is usually paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.
Effect on other Benefits
Once you get Bereavement Allowance, payments may change if you’re getting any of the following:
- Income Support
- Incapacity Benefit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
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.