If you were married but your spouse has died, you may be entitled to claim bereavement benefits. Civil partners have the same rights.
A bereavement payment is a one-off, tax-free lump sum of £2,000. You must claim this within 12 months of your spouse’s death.
If you have dependent children and you are entitled to child benefit you may also be able to claim widowed parent’s allowance — a weekly payment that is part of your taxable income.
Alternatively, you may be able to claim bereavement allowance if you are over 45 but have not yet reached state pension age. You cannot claim both widowed parent’s allowance and bereavement allowance.
In all three cases your spouse must have paid enough national insurance contributions or died because of an industrial accident or disease. Other conditions apply too.
You can find out more from the Bereavement Service on 0345 606 0265. If you prefer, a solicitor can handle your claim for you.