If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, the pressure of admin can feel overwhelming. At Life Ledger, we understand just how stressful this journey can be.
However, few people are aware of the support systems that are in place, designed to help them get through the difficulties of this most distressing time.
Below, we’ve listed 3 of the main types of financial help that the government provides to assist the bereaved.
Bereavement Support Payment
The Bereavement Support Payment is a government scheme, designed to support people whose spouse or civil partner has passed away.
This scheme provides the bereaved with a £2,500 payment, as a lump sum.
The payment that you receive will vary slightly, depending on a number of circumstances:
- If you have children, this is increased to £3,500, alongside an additional monthly £100 installment, provided for 18 months.
- If you have a child and you’re eligible for Child Benefits, then the additional monthly installment increases to £350
If you’re struggling to manage your finances after your partner’s death, this support can help to ease your financial concerns during the grieving period.
To be entitled to claim a Bereavement Support Payment, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Your partner passed away either on or after 6 April 2017 (before this date, the Widowed Parent’s Allowance was in place, and this is the scheme that you would be entitled to claim)
- You are under State Pension age (which is, currently, 66 years old for both men and women)
- The death occurred less than three months ago (if the death occurred more than three months ago, then you’ll still be able to make a claim, but you will receive fewer monthly payments).
- The deceased paid National Insurance contributions for a minimum of 25 weeks in one tax year (since 1975)
You can make a claim by downloading the BSP1 form from the GOV.UK website.
Then, post the completed form to:
Bereavement Support Payment, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 2BS
Alternatively, if you take your form to your nearest Jobcentre Plus, they can send it on your behalf.
Funeral Expenses Payment
The Funeral Expenses Payment (also known as a Funeral Payment) is designed to help the bereaved cover the funeral costs.
If you are arranging a funeral, then the Funeral Expenses Payment can be used to help cover the following:
- Either the burial fees for a plot, or the cremation fees
- Travel costs, both for the funeral planning and attending the funeral itself
- The cost of printing the death certificates and other documents
- Moving the body (if it needs to be moved within the UK, at a distance of more than 50 miles)
In addition to covering the costs of the above, the government may also provide up to £1,000 to help the bereaved pay for other elements of the funeral. These can include, for example, the cost of the coffin, the flowers, or the fees for the funeral director.
The amount that you are eligible for will depend on your specific circumstance. If you receive money from the deceased’s estate, or a payout from an insurance policy (for example) then the payment that you receive will be lower.
The government’s Guardian’s Allowance is there to help anyone raising a child whose parents passed away.
In order to be eligible, you need to meet the following criteria:
- You need to be raising another person’s child (who has passed away)
- You qualify to receive Child Benefits
- The child’s parents have both passed away (unless you meet the criteria for one surviving parent, which we have detailed below)
- One of the child’s parents was born in the UK, Switzerland or an EEA country
- Or, one of the child’s parents had been living in the UK for a minimum of 52 weeks in any two year period, since they were 16 years old
In some cases, Guardian’s Allowance can be used to support some single parents who are raising a child on their own. To be eligible for Guardian’s Allowance when there is still one surviving parent, you need to meet one of the following conditions:
- The surviving parent’s location is unknown
- The surviving parent is currently in hospital, as was necessitated by a court order
- The surviving parent is in prison, and will be so for a minimum of 2 years after the other parent’s date of death
- The mother of the child passed away, and their father is unknown
- The child’s parents were divorced. And the surviving parent does not have custody or a duty of maintenance over the child (and there are no court orders that give them this right).
The Guardian’s Allowance is a fixed weekly rate of £18.55.
This payment is tax-free, and it is provided in addition to any Child Benefit payments that you may be receiving.
For parents or children dealing with loss, the following resources may be of help: