If your husband, wife, civil partner or the partner you cohabited with has died in the last 21 months you may be eligible to receive a Bereavement Support Payment.

To get the payment your partner must have:- 

  • paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year since 6 April 1975 or
  • have died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by their work.

You must:- 

  • be under pension age, and
  • living in the UK, and
  • have been married to or in a civil partnership with your partner at the time of their death, or
  • co-habiting with your partner for at least one day before they died.

The DWP has confirmed that claims for bereavement benefits can be made by a surviving cohabiting partner where there are dependent children from 9 February 2023.

If you were cohabiting with a partner who died on or after 30 August 2018 but did not get Bereavement Support Payment because cohabiting partners could not apply then, you can apply now. Your payment will be back-dated to when your partner died. 

If you were cohabiting with a partner who died before 30 August 2018 but the cause of death was not confirmed until after this date you may now be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment or Widowed Parents Allowance.

There are two amounts of Bereavement Support Payment.

  • If you were not getting child benefit when your partner died you will get a lump sum of £2,500 and £100 per month for up to 18 months.
  • If you were getting child benefit, or were pregnant, when your partner died, you’ll get a lump sum of £3,500 and £350 per month for up to 18 months.

This money will be paid into your bank account. The monthly payments do not affect any other benefits you get. The lump sum will not affect benefits for 12 months but any left after that date could reduce the amount you get in other benefits.

You can apply for bereavement Support Payment up to 21 months after your partner died. To get the lump and all 18 monthly payments you need to apply within 3 months of your partners death. If you apply after this, you will receive the lump sum but fewer monthly payments.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is by phone but you can also apply in writing by filling in an application form.

Apply by phone

Bereavement Service helpline: 

Telephone: 0800 731 0469 (Mon – Fri, 9.30am – 3.30pm) 

Textphone: 0800 731 0464 

Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469 

Apply using a paper form

To get a form, you can either: 

download a Bereavement Support Payment form (BSP1)

contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus to get one through the post

Fill in the claim form and send it to: 

Bereavement Support Payment
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 2BS

Families may also be able to make retrospective claims. Eligibility criteria was found to be unlawful on 30th August 2018. The Government will make retrospective payments, backdated to 30th August 2018, to those who had missed out because they were not married or in a civil partnership. Some families may have been bereaved as long ago as 2001. The deadline for retrospective claims is the 9th February 2024.

You will need to put in a retrospective claim and get the full amount you are entitled to. A retrospective payment might affect previous and future tax, tax credits and benefits, so it is important to seek advice on how this may affect you. More information on retrospective claims can be found on the Child Bereavement Network website.

Further support and information

More information on the Bereavement Support Payment.

More information on Funeral Support Payment. 

See the Childhood Bereavement Network update on cohabiting parents and bereavement benefits.


*Information from article by One Parent Families Scotland, updated 7 November 2023.