In a recent report issued by RGA, it appears as though almost 90% of all eligible widows are unaware of the fact that they can qualify for financial aid from the government. There are some limitations as to exactly who qualifies, but of those who are indeed eligible, very few even know there are benefits available.
Actually, widows under the state pension age may receive benefits, depending on their age, sometimes for as long as 20 years and the amount they can receive is dependent on two main factors. The first is whether or not their spouse or civil partner had been paying into the National Insurance and of course how much and for how long. The second factor is the age of the widow which has an impact on whether or not they can receive and the amount they are eligible for.
There are times when even widows who have reached pension age can receive benefits, but that is under very strict circumstances. For example, a widow or civil partner who is over pension age but their partner was under retirement age may qualify them for benefits. In fact, there is a one-off bereavement payment of £2,000 which some qualify for and aren’t aware of.
Some widows qualify because their spouse was killed ‘on the job.’ Even so, a bereavement allowance is paid for the first year after death and has a maximum weekly amount of £31.79 for those who are 45 years of age and widows over that age can be eligible for an amount of up to £105.95 weekly from 55 years of age to state pension age.
Also there is a widowed parent’s allowance if the surviving spouse has at least one child and there are times when widows may even qualify even if their spouse or civil partner never paid into the National Insurance. This would mainly be if they died on the job. Here, too, the maximum amount is £105.95. Since at least one in ten consumers in the UK is unaware of these benefits, it is important ask for a BB1 claim form at the closest Jobcentre Plus office.