Havering Welfare Benefits Adviser Lorraine Moss today writes in the Havering Daily:
This is of course a very difficult time and many people miss out on help that they may be eligible for.
Bereavement Support Payment( Source Bereavement Support Payment – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
You may be able to get Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) if your husband, wife or civil partner died in the last 21 months.
You must claim within 3 months of your partner’s death to get the full amount. You can claim up to 21 months after their death but you’ll get fewer monthly payments.
Bereavement Support Payment has replaced Bereavement Allowance (previously Widow’s Pension), Bereavement Payment, and Widowed Parent’s Allowance.
You could be eligible if your partner either:● paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year since 6 April 1975● died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work
When they died you must have been:● under State Pension age● living in the UK or a country that pays bereavement benefits
You cannot claim BSP if you’re in prison.
If your partner died more than 21 months ago
You may still be able to claim BSP if your husband, wife or civil partner’s cause of death was confirmed more than 21 months after the death. Call the Bereavement Service helpline.
If your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017, you may be able to get Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead.
What you’ll get
You’ll get a first payment and then up to 18 monthly payments. There are 2 rates.
If you get Child Benefit (or if you do not get it but are entitled to it), you’ll get the higher rate.
If you do not get Child Benefit, you’ll get the lower rate unless you were pregnant when your husband, wife or civil partner died.
You must claim within 3 months of your partner’s death to get the full amount. If you claim later, you’ll get fewer monthly payments.
Your payments will be paid into your bank or building society account.
If you get benefits
Bereavement Support Payment will not affect your benefits for a year after your first payment. After a year, money you have left from your first payment could affect the amount you get if you renew or make a claim for another benefit.
You must tell your benefits office (for example, your local Jobcentre Plus) when you start getting Bereavement Support Payment.
How to claim
How you apply depends on where you are.
If you’re in England, Scotland or Wales
The quickest way to apply is by phone. You can also apply using a paper form.
If you’ve arranged to pay your Self Assessment tax and National Insurance bill in instalments because of coronavirus (COVID-19), your application might be rejected. Contact HMRC before applying for Bereavement Support.
Apply by phone
Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language: 0800 731 0456
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469
Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm
Find out about call charges
Apply using a paper form
Fill in the claim form and send it to:
Bereavement Support Payment
Mail Handling Site A
On 15 July 2021 plans were set out to extend Bereavement Support payments to cohabiting couples with children. Once approved by parliament, the changes will apply retrospectively from 30 August 2018. Please see Cohabiting couples to benefit from changes to bereavement benefit rules – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Help With Funeral Costs
Funeral Expense Payment (source Get help with funeral costs (Funeral Expenses Payment) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk))
How it works
You could get a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) if you get certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging.
This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).
If you live in Scotland
You can apply for a Funeral Support Payment. It has replaced Funeral Expenses Payment in Scotland.
If you receive money from the deceased’s estate
Your Funeral Expenses Payment will be deducted from any money you get from the deceased’s estate.
The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.
What you’ll get
Funeral Expenses Payment can help pay for some of the costs of the following:● burial fees for a particular plot● cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate● travel to arrange or go to the funeral● the cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles● death certificates or other documents
You can also get up to £1,000 for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin.
The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral.
How much you get depends on your circumstances. This includes any other money that’s available to cover the costs, for example from an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.
Check the claim form notes for full details of what Funeral Expenses Payment covers.
If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, you can only get up to £120 to help pay for items not covered by their plan.
How the money is paid
Funeral Expenses Payment is paid into your bank, building society or credit union account if you’ve already paid for the funeral.
The money will be paid directly to the organiser of the funeral (for example, the funeral director) if you have not paid yet.
You can get a Funeral Expenses Payment if all of the following apply:● you get certain benefits or tax credits● you meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased● you’re arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
You might be able to get other help to pay for the funeral if you’re not eligible for Funeral Expenses Payment.
Benefits and tax credits you must get
You (or your partner) must get one or more of the following:● Income Support● income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance● income-related Employment and Support Allowance● Pension Credit● Housing Benefit● the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit● Child Tax Credit● Universal Credit
You might also be eligible if you’re getting a Support for Mortgage Interest loan.
You can still claim Funeral Expenses Payment if you’ve applied for these benefits and you’re waiting to hear about your claim.
If you were responsible for a deceased child but you’re not their parent, the non-resident parent must get one or more of these benefits.
If there’s a close relative of the deceased who is not getting one of these benefits, you might not be able to claim Funeral Expenses Payment.
Rules on your relationship with the deceased
You must be one of the following:● the partner of the deceased when they died● a close relative or close friend of the deceased● the parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy● the parent or person responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)
You might not get a Funeral Expenses Payment if another close relative of the deceased (such as a sibling or parent) is in work.
If the funeral will take place in the EEA or Switzerland
Contact the Social Fund to check if you’re eligible.
Telephone: 0800 169 0140
Textphone: 0800 169 0286
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0140
Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users – check you can use the service
Welsh language: 0800 169 0240
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
Government Step by Step Guide
Please see What to do when someone dies: step by step – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This is a very useful link that shous you all the things that you have to do if your spouse of civil partner passes away.
Here are some useful links of charities and organisations that you can contact for help and advice;