Bereavement Allowance

You might be able to claim Bereavement Allowance (previously known as Widow’s Pension) if you’re widowed between 45 and state pension age.

It is a weekly benefit payable to widows, widowers and surviving civil partners for 52 weeks from the death of their husband, wife or civil partner.

Your husband, wife or civil partner must have paid enough national insurance contributions for you to get Bereavement Allowance. However, if they died because of an industrial injury or disease the contribution conditions do not have to be met.

To get Bereavement Allowance, you must not be entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance. However, you can get Bereavement Allowance if your Widowed Parent’s Allowance ends because you stop getting Child Benefit, and this happens within 52 weeks of your spouse or civil partner’s death.

Bereavement Allowance is part of your taxable income.

The rate of Bereavement Allowance depends on how old you were when your husband, wife or civil partner died. If you were aged between 45 and 54 you get a lower rate which varies according to your age. If you were 55 or over, but under state pension age when your spouse or civil partner died or you stopped getting Widowed Parent’s Allowance, you get the highest rate. The rate of Bereavement Allowance may be reduced if your late husband, wife or civil partner did not pay enough national insurance contributions. In some cases, you may get an additional pension on top of Bereavement Allowance based on your late spouse or civil partner’s earnings.

You can find the current rates of Bereavement Allowance on the GOV.UK website

Bereavement Allowance is usually paid directly into a bank, building society or Post Office card account. 

If you reach state pension age before the end of the 52 weeks you will no longer be entitled to Bereavement Allowance.