What is a Bereavement Grant?
A Bereavement Grant is a once-off payment made in respect of deaths that occur on or after 2 February 1999. Eligibility for this grant is not related to your ability to pay for the funeral. Your eligibility is usually based on PRSI contributions. Further information on the grant can be found at the Department of Social Protection. Applications should be made within 12 months from the date of death.
It is paid on the death of:
- an insured person
- the spouse or partner of an insured person
- the widow or widower of an insured person
- a child under age 18, or under age 22 if in full-time education (where either parent or the person that the child normally lives with satisfies the PRSI contribution conditions)
- a contributory pensioner
- the spouse or partner of a contributory pensioner
- the qualified adult of a contributory pensioner
- a qualified child, or
- an orphan getting Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or on the death of their guardian.
How much is the Bereavement Grant?
A Bereavement Grant is a payment of 850 euro. The grant is usually paid to the person responsible for payment of the funeral bill. (For example, the grant can be paid to the husband, wife, personal representative or next-of-kin of the deceased person).
In addition (depending on your circumstances), you may be able to apply for some other social welfare payments. For example; the Widowed Parents Grant for widows/widowers with dependant children; click here for further information. You may also be eligible for a Special Funeral Grant (under the Occupational Injuries Benefits scheme); click here for further information.
How do I claim a Bereavement Grant?
You can get the application forms at your Social Welfare Local Office, local Post Office or Citizens Information Centre. Or LoCall: 1890 927 770 (from the Republic of Ireland only). Telephone: +353 43 3340000 (from Northern Ireland or overseas). The forms can also be downloaded at www.welfare.ie.
What if I don't qualify for a Bereavement Grant?
If you do not qualify for a Bereavement Grant you may get assistance towards the funeral expenses under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) scheme, which is operated by the Health Boards. No social insurance contributions are required as payment is based on the means of the person responsible for paying the funeral bill. You should apply to your local Community Welfare Officer at your local Health Centre before you pay the funeral bill, as the cheque will be issued to the undertaker/funeral director. The SWA scheme also provides for Exceptional Needs Payments in particular situations.