The Bereavement Grant has been discontinued and is not paid for deaths occurring on or after 1 January 2014. Applications for bereavement grants will be accepted up to December 2014, provided the date of death is before 1 January 2014. Note that applications for bereavement grants must be submitted within 12 months of the date of death.
The Bereavement Grant is a once-off payment paid by the Department of Social and Family Affairs to help with funeral costs. Eligibility for this grant is not related to your ability to pay for the funeral. Your eligibility is usually based on PRSI contributions.
The grant is also paid on the death of a person who has been getting a contributory pension or on the death of their spouse, partner or someone for whom the contributory pensioner would have been getting an increase for a Qualified Adult or an increase for a Qualified Child. Applications must be made within 12 months of the person's death.
A Bereavement Grant is payable in the following circumstances:
- on the death of a person who has been receiving a contributory pension or on the death of his/her spouse or qualified dependants
- on the death of a person who has been getting Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or on the death of his/her guardian
- if the person on whose social insurance record the claim is being made has at least 156 weeks PRSI paid since entry into insurable employment
- if the person on whose social insurance record the claim is being made has at least 26 weeks PRSI paid since entry into insurable employment AND if the claim also satisfies the following conditions:
- 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the *Relevant Tax Year
- a yearly average of 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited over the 3 or 5 tax years before the Relevant Tax Year
- a yearly average of 26 weeks PRSI paid or credited since 1979 (or since starting work if later) and the end of the tax year before the death occurred or pension age was reached (age 66 at present)
- a yearly average of 26 weeks PRSI paid or credited since 1st October 1970 (or since starting work if later) and the end of the tax year before the death occurred or pension age was reached (age 66 at present).
*The Relevant Tax Year is the second last complete tax year before the year in which the death occurs or pension age was reached. (For example if the death occurred/pension age was reached in 2006, the relevant tax year is 2004. If the death occurred/pension age was reached in 2007, the relevant tax year is 2005).
PRSI paid at Classes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, N, and S count for the Bereavement Grant. Voluntary contributions are also reckonable.
A Bereavement Grant is a payment of €850. 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) and payments are made by cheque.
How to apply
As stated earlier you should complete an application form within 12 months of the date of death. You can obtain an application form from your local social welfare office. You will need to forward the deceased's PPS number and Death Certificate with the application form. You will also be required to forward the funeral bill or receipt of payment with your application for the grant.
You should note that photocopies of the death certificate and funeral bill/receipt are not acceptable. Death certificates for social welfare purposes are available from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
One of the following can claim the payment:
- the personal representative (executor or administrator) of the deceased
- the spouse or children of the deceased
- the husband or wife of any of the next of kin
- any other person claiming entitlement.
For more information on bereavement grants, contact your local Social Welfare Office or go to www.welfare.ie. You can also get information booklets and application forms from your local Social Welfare Office, or by telephoning the Department's LoCall Leaflet Request Line at 1890 20 23 25.
Bereavement Grant Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel: +353 (0)1 7043487
Direct line: (043) 3345211
Pension Services Office
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel: (071) 69800
Tel: (01) 874 8444
Citizen's Information Centres
LoCall: 1890 777 121
Monday to Friday, 9am-9pm
Citizens Information provides comprehensive information on all aspects of Public Services and entitlements for citizens in Ireland and is based on a personal approach to the presentation and delivery of information on public services and the social and civil rights of everyone in Ireland. Citizens Information is also available by calling in person to a Citizens Information Centre near you. This is a free and confidential service.
HSE National Information Line
Monday to Saturday, 8am-8pm
Call Save: 1850 24 1850