Social welfare payments following a death
Death of the person claiming a social welfare payment
Some social welfare payments can continue after someone dies. That is, where someone who was getting a certain social welfare payment dies, their spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may get 6 weeks of this payment after the death. This will be paid at the same rate your late spouse, civil partner or cohabitant was getting.
You may get the 6-week payment if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant was getting one of the following payments and it included a payment (Increase for a Qualified Adult) for you (or would have except that you were getting State Pension (Non-Contributory), Blind Pension, Carer's Benefit or Carer's Allowance in your own right):
- State Pension (Non-Contributory) or State Pension (Contributory)
- Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance
- Illness Benefit
- Disability Allowance
- Invalidity Pension
- Blind Pension
- Farm Assist
- Injury Benefit or Incapacity Supplement.
In all cases you must inform the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of the death.
Death of an adult dependant
If you are getting a social welfare payment that included a payment (Increase for a Qualified Adult) for your late spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, you will continue to get the same rate of payment for 6 weeks after their death.
Death of a child dependant
If your child dies, payment of an Increase for a Qualified Child on your social welfare payment will usually continue for 6 weeks, if the child was included in your payment. Contact the section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection responsible for your payment.
You should also notify the Child Benefit Section of the Department about the death of your child.
Where a person being cared for dies
Payment of Carer's Allowance (full or half-rate) continues to be made for 12 weeks after the death of the person you were caring for. Payment of Carer's Benefit continues to be made for 6 weeks after the death of the person you were caring for.
If you are getting Carer’s Allowance (full or half-rate) on behalf of a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and that person dies, you can continue to get Carer's Allowance for 12 weeks plus any of the payments listed above (if in payment to that person) for 6 weeks after the date of death. If you were getting Carer’s Benefit you continue to get it for 6 weeks and any payments your spouse or partner was getting.
The 6-week payment is normally paid in a lump sum by cheque. Carer’s Allowance continues to be paid weekly after a death.
How to apply
To apply for a payment after a death, you should contact the appropriate section within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, as soon as possible following the death. (The section you need to contact will depend on the type of payment the deceased received. For example, if the person who died was getting a State Pension, you need to get in touch with the Pension Section of the Department). Staff in your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office can advise if you are not sure where to contact.
Enclose the death certificate (if available) or a death notice from a newspaper with your application. A cheque will be sent to you. Keep your own record of the pension claim/reference number for future reference.