Dealing with bereavement and grief is hard at any time but is likely to be especially so during the coronavirus pandemic. We've pulled together some useful information and support for you and your family to help you during these difficult times.
Bereavement Support Payment
A Bereavement Support Payment, which is not means-tested, can be claimed by those whose husband, wife or civil partner was under state pension age when they died and had paid some national insurance contributions in any year.
The payment is not affected by income, savings or lump-sums such as insurance payments or funeral cover and is made up of an initial lump sum followed by up to 18 monthly payments.
This can be claimed up to 21 months after a death, by phoning the Department for Work and Pensions Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469 or by downloading a Gov.uk: Bereavement Support Payment claim form.
A recent High Court decision means that as well as those who were married to or in a civil partnership with the partner who has died, unmarried parents of children may also now qualify for a payment. Contact us at Welfare Rights Service would be able to advise on how to use this ruling or provide support to challenge a decision.
Help a child following a death
As a parent/carer it can be hard to understand the concept of loss in children and young people so we've pulled together useful advice from other parents and professionals to help you.
Talk to your child about loss:
- Explain to your child in an age-appropriate way what's happened, using clear language.
- Let them know that it's okay to feel however they feel and that there's no right or wrong way to grieve.
- Be curious and non-judgmental about how they're feeling, focusing on listening and providing emotional support. Try to think about things from their point of view.
- Reassure them they're not alone and they can talk to you whenever they need to.
- If you're worried your child may be blaming themselves, reassure them that guilt is a common thing to feel - but that it is in no way their fault or responsibility.
Support available for children and families
- Child Bereavement Network UK
- Cruse Bereavement Care - Offering support to grieving parents and carers as they support a bereaved child or young person.
- Cruse - Hope Again - The youth website of Cruse Bereavement Care. It is a safe place where young people can learn from other young people, how to cope with grief, and feel less alone.
- Grief Encounter - Providing support, group activities and remembrance days to bereaved children and families.
- The Jigsaw Project at St Cuthbert’s Hospice - A counselling service for young adults and children who have experienced grief, loss and bereavement.
- Winston’s Wish
Support for adults
- The NHS offer general guidance on NHS: Grief after bereavement or loss.
- Age UK has information on Age UK: Coping with bereavement.
- If u care share offer support for families who are affected by suicide.
Help and support specific to Covid-19
There are a number of organisations who provide advice and support for dealing with death and grief during the current Coronavirus pandemic.