Bereavement benefit is paid to the widow/widower and/or orphans of a person who has died.
Bereavement benefit replaced Widow's benefit in the United Kingdom in April 2001. It is a social security benefit that is designed to support people who have recently lost their spouse, and need some financial support to help them get back on their feet. A similar benefit is provided in Malta in accordance to the Widows and Orphans Pension Act of 1927.
The qualifying conditions are as follows:
It is required that the deceased and the claimant be married at the time of death.
Bereavement benefit consists of 2 parts, firstly:
- a bereavement payment of £2,000 which is a one off tax free lump sum payable if the deceased spouse met the relatively complex National Insurance contribution conditions.
- the succeeding benefit:
- Bereavement allowance, which is payable to widow(er)s aged 45 or over at the time of being widowed. This runs for 52 weeks or until the customer reaches retirement age (whichever is sooner). The amount payable is dependent upon the deceased spouse's National Insurance contributions and the claimant's age.
- Widowed parent's allowance. This is payable to widow(er)s who have dependent children for whom they are in receipt of child benefit. The amount payable is dependent upon the deceased spouse's National Insurance contributions plus any additional pension they may have earned. Widowed parent's allowance is payable until the claimant stops getting child benefit.
None of these benefits are payable if the claimant is under 45, or over state pension age, although the bereavement payment of £2,000 may be payable if the deceased was not in receipt of a category A state pension.
In Ireland, a window/widower is able to receive the Widow's/Widower's (Contributory) Pension (Pinsean Ranníocach Baintrí (Fir agus Mná)), the Bereavement Grant (Deontas Báis), the Widowed Parents Grant (Deontas Báis Bhaintrí/Bhaintrí Fir) and/or the Special Funeral Grant (Deontas Speiseálta Sochraide).
Payments for the Widow's/Widower's Pension are as follows:
|Age||Payment per week||Payment from January 2008|
|66 - 79||€209.30||€223.30|
For each child dependant, €22.00 (€24.00 from January 2008) is added.
More information on the Widow's/Widower's Pension scheme can be found here.
The Widowed Parents Grant is another one-off payment of €6,000, given to widows/widowers with one or more child dependants living with them. However, there are other rules regarding the payment; more information can be found here.
The Special Funeral Grant is another one-off payment of €850, given to the deceased's family. It is only available if the person dies at work. More information can be found here.
All benefits are paid for by the Department of Social Protection.