How does it currently work?

Under the existing scheme, if your spouse or Civil Partner dies, you could be entitled to £2000 tax-free (Bereavement Payment), and may be eligible to claim weekly payments of £112.55 (Widowed Parent's Allowance). There is also Bereavement Allowance which is a taxable weekly allowance, paid for 12 months to Widows, Widowers and Civil Partners over the age of 45 WITHOUT any dependent children.

Currently, it is possible for the widowed parent of a new-born baby to receive £119,052 Bereavement pay-outs over the 20 year span of the eligibility (you can only claim until your child is 20).

If you are already using the current system, you will continue to receive this. The changes will only affect new claimants.

What will the changes be?

From 6 April 2017, widowed parents WITH children will receive a lump sum of £3500 and 18 monthly payments of £350. Those without children will receive a lump sum of £2500 with 18 monthly payments of £100.

I'm eligible now! How do I claim?

These benefits are determined by National Insurance contributions.

You would be eligible for the Beareavement Payment of £2000 if when your spouse or Civil Partner died you were:

  • Under state pension age, OR
  • Over state pension age, and your spouse or Civil Partner wasn't entitled to a state pension based on their National Insurance contributions

Also, your spouse or Civil Partner must have:

  • Paid enough National Insurance contributions, OR
  • Died from an industrial accident or disease

You are not eligible for Bereavement Payment if:

  • You were divorced from your spouse or Civil Partner
  • You're living with another person as Husband, Wife or Civil Partner
  • You're in prison

To be eligible for the Widowed Parent's Allowance or Bereavement Allowance, the deceased must have paid, or been credited with sufficient National Insurance contributions for a proportion of their working life.

Your claim may be backdated up to three months, and a claim may be made up to three months after you cease to be eligible.

Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent's Allowance are classed as income so if you were receiving other income-related benefits, the amount received would be reduced.

Contact LCS now on 0345 017 8250 to discuss our Bereavement Management and Probate services.