Bereavement benefits: other benefits you may be entitled to

Other benefits you could be entitled to when you've been bereaved

Carer’s Allowance: If you were claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after the person who has died (or had an underlying entitlement because you claimed and got another benefit instead ), you can continue to get it for 8 weeks after their death. This may mean that you get extra Pension Credit, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit if you qualify for these benefits during this period.

Council Tax: If you are now the only adult living in your home you may be entitled to the Single Person’s Discount on your Council Tax. This will be 25% off the total Council Tax Bill.   Contact your local authority Council Tax Office. You will also need to let them know if you were getting a disability or carer discount which no longer applies.

Council Tax Support: If you are on a low income you may also be able to claim Council Tax Benefit to help pay the Council Tax. The amount you get will depend on your income and savings. If you were already getting Council Tax Benefit or Support with your partner, you will need to inform the local authority and make a new claim.

Housing Benefit: If you pay rent and you are on a low income you may be able to claim Housing Benefit to help pay it. The amount you get will depend on your income and savings. If you were already getting Housing Benefit with your partner, you will need to inform the local authority Housing Benefit section and make a new claim. You may need to get the tenancy transferred into your name to be able to claim this.

If you are paying a mortgage you may be able to get help with paying mortgage interest and service charges if you are entitled to a top-up benefit like income support of Pension Credit (see below) .

Health Care Benefits: You will be entitled to free prescriptions, free dental treatment, free optical services and fares to hospital if you get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit), or high levels of Child Tax Credit.

You may also be entitled to some help with the above if you do not get these benefits but you have a low income. You need to make a separate claim on a form HC1 which is available from your local post office.

Top Up Benefits: You can claim other benefits to top up your weekly income if it is very low. You may be able to claim extra to help pay service charges or mortgage interest:

    • Pension Credit if you are over minimum Pension Credit age; or
    • Income Support if you are under minimum Pension Credit age and you are a single parent with a child under 5, or a carer claiming Carer’s Allowance and you have savings of less than £16,000; or
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are under pension age and can sign on as available for work; or
    • Employment and Support Allowance if you are under pension age and unable to work through sickness.

Working Tax Credit: If you are working for 16 hours a week or more and have dependent children or a disability or illness yourself and you are now on a low income you may be able to claim Working Tax Credit to top up your income.   The amount you get depends on your income.  Any childcare costs you pay will be taken into account when calculating the Working Tax Credit.   Contact the Tax Credits Helpline for a claim form.

Please note:

Under plans for welfare reform, some of the benefits above will be amalgamated into one new benefit called Universal Credit. There is no date set yet for when this will be fully introduced.  The current benefits will continue until then.