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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Financial help for the bereaved

A death in the family can cause money problems for those who are left. Whether the problems are short or long term, there is financial help available.

Bereavement Payment and Allowance

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get Bereavement Payment, a one-off, lump-sum payment of £2,000 that's tax-free.

After you're widowed you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance, the taxable weekly benefit paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife or civil partner.

Widowed Parent's Allowance

If you're a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have a dependent child or young person for whom you receive Child Benefit, you may be able to get Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA).

State Pension

If both you and your husband, wife or civil partner were getting the basic state pension when they died, you may be able to use their National Insurance contributions to get extra basic pension.

Pneumoconiosis (including asbestosis), byssinosis and miscellaneous diseases benefit

If your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of pneumoconiosis, byssinosis or certain other diseases which they got from work before 5 July 1948, then you can make a claim for benefit.

Also, if your husband, wife or civil partner was disabled as a result of an industrial accident or disease that occurred before their death and was not getting Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, you may be able to claim it for a period before their death.

War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

A War Widow's or Widower's Pension is a tax-free pension you may be entitled to if your wife, husband or civil partner died as a result of their service in Her Majesty's (HM) Armed Forces or during a time of war.

For those who served after 6 April 2005, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme offers financial help.

Guardian's Allowance

You may be able to claim Guardian's Allowance if you're bringing up a child whose biological or adopted parents have died.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is a regular payment made to anyone bringing up a child or young person. It's paid for each child that qualifies and isn't affected by income or savings, so most people bringing up a child can get Child Benefit.

Maternity benefits

If you're pregnant or have a new baby but don't qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA).

Income Support

If you can't be available for full-time work and don't have enough money to live on, you may be able to get Income Support benefit. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances.

Jobseeker's Allowance

If you're of working age but unemployed and actively seeking work, you may be able to get Jobseeker's Allowance.

Employment and Support Allowance

If you have an illness or disability that affects your ability to work, you may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance. It offers you personalised support and financial help, so that you can do appropriate work, if you are able to.

Tax credits

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit may help you - find out what they are, who can get them and how they're paid.

Pension Credit

If you're a pensioner living in Great Britain you may be entitled to Pension Credit - extra money each week. It's made up of two elements - the 'Guarantee Credit' element and the 'Savings Credit' element (which may be payable from age 65).

The age that you can get the Guarantee Credit is gradually going up for men and women from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and April 2020, in line with changes to women's State Pension age.

Housing Benefit

If you're on a low income and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be able to get Housing Benefit.

Council Tax Benefit

In certain cases you may qualify for a Council Tax reduction - for example if the property's empty, only one adult lives there, or you're disabled, a student, a nurse or other special category. If you're on a low income you may qualify for Council Tax Benefit.

Help with health costs

Most National Health Service (NHS) treatment is free but there can be charges for some things. You may be able to get help with NHS health costs if, for example, you're on a low income.

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