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9 Welfare benefits

Download Welfare benefits (PDF File, 640kb)

1. Introduction

2. Who can claim benefits?

3. If you have a low income

4. If you are having a baby or adopting a child

5. If you have children to look after

6. If you are unemployed

7. If you are ill and can´t work

8. If you have a disability

9. If you are just starting work

10. If you have retired or are about to retire

11. If your husband, wife or civil partner dies
If your husband, wife or civil partner dies and they have paid National Insurance contributions in the past, you may be able to claim a lump-sum Bereavement Payment of £2,000.

If you have children and you are under pension age, you may qualify for Widowed Parent's Allowance.

If you were 45 or over but under pension age when your husband, wife or civil partner died, and you are still under pension age, you may get a Bereavement Allowance for up to a year after they died. You cannot get Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Allowance at the same time. Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Allowance can be stopped if you marry, enter into a civil partnership or start living with someone as a partner.

If your husband, wife, civil partner or partner died as the result of service in the armed forces, you may qualify for a War Widow's or War Widower's Pension, or financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. For more about this, see the Gurkha Free Legal Advice leaflet, 'Veterans'.

If you are on a low income, you may also qualify for other means-tested benefits and a Funeral Grant from the Social Fund.

Special groups of people
For most of the benefits mentioned in this guide, special rules apply to certain groups of people such as:

  • hospital in-patients;
  • people from abroad;
  • students;
  • prisoners; and
  • people who live in care homes or other residential accommodation.

You should get further advice if you are in any of these groups.

12. Where do I claim?

13. What must I do when I claim?

14. What if I disagree with a decision about my claim?

15. What if I´ve been badly treated?

16. The Human Rights Act

17. Further help

18. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Rachel Hadwen, a specialist in welfare rights.

Leaflet Version: June 2008