Nicholas Brown – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Nicholas Brown on 2016-04-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the qualifying period applicants can apply for and claim bereavement allowance after the death of a partner.

Priti Patel

Information about Bereavement Benefits is widely available through GOV.UK. We also work closely with third party organisations who the bereaved traditionally contact such as registrars, hospitals, funeral directors and voluntary groups ensuring that they have the correct information available to signpost the bereaved to the DWP Bereavement Service.

Upon contacting the DWP Bereavement Service our staff will ensure that any benefits and pensions arrears are claimed and will also initiate a claim for Social Fund Funeral Payments and Bereavement Benefits if appropriate.


We continue to look for opportunities to improve the availability of advice about these particular benefits and as a result we have improved the information available on GOV.UK, and are currently exploring ways in which to to join up the Tell Us Once and Bereavement Service offers.

Tell Us Once is a cross-government service delivered through Local Authorities whereby notification of the death is cascaded out to other agencies, thus reducing the number of contacts an individual has to make.

The time limit for claiming Bereavement Allowance is three months from the date of death, which is consistent with the time limit for other welfare entitlements. We are currently developing the new Bereavement Support Payment due to be implemented for new claims from April 2017, and we will assess the merits of further flexibilities on backdating as part of this work.

Information available on the number of people in receipt of Bereavement Allowance by duration of current claim can be found at:


Guidance for users can be found at: