Social welfare payments following a death
Some social welfare payments can continue after someone dies. Here we list the payments that can continue to be paid following a death and when they are paid. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has detailed guidelines on payments after the death of a claimant or a dependant.
Death of the person claiming a social welfare payment
When someone who was getting a social welfare payment dies, their spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may get 6 weeks of this payment after the death. It will be paid at the same weekly rate your late spouse, civil partner or cohabitant was getting.
The following payments can be paid for 6 weeks after death:
- State Pension (Non-Contributory) or State Pension (Contributory)
- Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance
- Illness Benefit
- Disability Allowance
- Invalidity Pension
- Blind Pension
- Carer's Benefit or Carer's Allowance
- Farm Assist
- Injury Benefit or Incapacity Supplement.
To qualify, your spouse’s, civil partner’s or cohabitant’s social welfare payment must have included a payment for you (an Increase for a Qualified Adult) or you were getting one of the payments listed above in your own right.
In all cases you must inform the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of the death of the person claiming the payment.
Death of a dependent
Death of an adult dependant
If you are getting a social welfare payment that includes 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, the Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) on your social welfare payment will 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.
Where there is one qualified child on a One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) and that child dies, the OFP and IQC will continue for 6 weeks.
It is proposed, in the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2018, that Domiciliary Care Allowance will continue to be paid for 3 months in cases where the child being cared for has died (from January 2019).
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.
Domiciliary Care Allowance continues to be paid for 3 months in cases where the child being cared for has died.
You will be paid at the same weekly rate that was in payment before the death.
How to apply
To apply for a payment after a death, you should contact the section responsible for the payment within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, as soon as possible following the death. (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.