After death payments and benefits
The death of someone close can be doubly
difficult to cope with. As well as the grief of the loss, there is the
adjusting to life without them. Funerals can be expensive, and for someone receiving
social welfare benefits, the cost of burying their loved one can almost be too
much to bear. For this reason, the Department of Social and Family
Affairs has some facilities for extra payments, one-off payments and continued
payments, to ease the burden when a death occurs.
Social welfare payments after death
If your spouse/partner dies and he/she was
in receipt of certain social welfare payments,
you may continue to receive this payment for six weeks following the death - providing they included a payment for you.
Alternatively if you are getting a
Retirement Pension, Old Age (contributory/non-contributory) Pension or Blind
Pension and your spouse was receiving social welfare payments, you will be paid
six weeks of whatever payment he/she was receiving plus your own payment.
If you are getting a social welfare
payment that included a payment for your late spouse/partner, you will continue
to receive the same rate of payment for six weeks after his/her death.
Payment for a child dependent will
continue for six weeks after the death of the child.
If you are receiving a Carerís Allowance
or Benefit for looking after a spouse of partner, this Allowance/Benefit will
cease from the date of his/her death. However, any social welfare payment that
they were receiving will be paid to you at the married rate for 6 weeks after
If you are married and you die, your
husband or wife will be entitled to a Widow(er)ís Contributory Pension,
providing the deceased person or the spouse has enough PRSI contributions. You
automatically qualify if your late spouse was receiving either a Retirement
Pension or an Old Age Contributory Pension, which included an increase for a
dependant spouse. A Widow(er)ís Pension may also be payable if the death was
due to an occupational injury or disease.
Applying for social welfare payments
It is very important that your local
Social Welfare Office is told of the death of a Social Welfare pensioner or
their qualified adult as soon as possible. If your pension is being paid by
direct payment to a bank or building society account (electronic fund
transfer), it is not sufficient simply to tell your bank or building society of
the death. You must tell the Department of Social and Family Affairs also.
To apply for the six weeks payment, you should
write to the relevant section of the Department of Social and Family Affairs,
enclosing the death certificate or death notice. For example, for someone
receiving the Retirement Pension, this would be the Pension Payment Section.
For further information about after death
payments, contact your local social welfare office, or the Department of Social
and Family Affairs on 01-8748444.
In the event of a death, you may be able
to apply for a bereavement grant Ė a once-off payment of Ä635. The Grant is payable on the death of a person
who has been receiving a contributory pension, or of his/her spouse or
qualified dependants; on the death of a person who has been getting Orphanís
(Contributory) Allowance or of his/her guardian; or on the basis of certain
PRSI contribution conditions.
You should apply for the Grant within 12
months of the date of death. Claim forms are available from any Social Welfare
Office. The deceased personís Death Certificate together with the funeral bill
(or funeral bill receipt) is required with the claim. The Bereavement Grant is
normally paid to the person responsible for the payment of the funeral bill.
For further information please contact
01-8748444, extension 8754 or 043-40054.
If you have little or no income after a
bereavement and need assistance with funeral costs, you may be eligible for an
Exceptional Needs Payment, available under the Health Service Executiveís
Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme. These payments are subject to a means
test and each case is decided by a Community Welfare Officer at your local
health centre. You wonít normally be eligible if you are in full-time work or
If death took place as a result of fire or
other disaster, an Urgent Needs Payment may be made to help with immediate
needs such as food, clothing etc. This may have to be paid back at a later
You should apply for these payments to
your Community Welfare Officer.
Widowed Parents Grant
The Widowed Personís Grant is a once-off
payment of Ä2,700, made to widows or widowers with dependant children. The
grant is available only to widows/widowers who have one or more dependant
children living with them and who already qualify for one of the following payments:
- Widow's/Widower's Contributory Pension
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Bereavement Grant payable on the death of
- Death Benefit under the Occupational
- A Widow's/Widower's Contributory Pension
from another EU state or a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social
For further information, contact the Widows Pension Section, Pension Services
Office, Sligo. Their contact telephone numbers are Tel:
01-8748444 or Tel: 071-69800.