Bereavement benefits for next of kin

The Cost Of Loss: Bereavement

Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions

I am 23 years old and lost my father unexpectedly in December 2011. As my father was divorced and had not re-married, as the eldest child I was automatically next of kin. I struggled to pay for the funeral and other finances.

I found out there was a Bereavement Payment and checked to see if I could claim this to help me out with the financial burden of my fathers death. I realised I did not qualify. Only wives, husbands or civil partners of the deceased are entitled to this one-off, tax-free payment when their partner dies.

I propose the government change this and make the Bereavement Payment inclusive of all those who find themselves being the next of kin of a deceased relative.

This money would have paid for the cheapest funeral package and allowed me more time to grieve, rather than worry about where I would find the money to fund the financial burden of losing a loved one.

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