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Can I claim UK benefits if I am widowed in Spain ?

- Updated: 13/01/2012

If you or your partner have made the appropriate contributions in the UK, then it is your right to claim your entitlement to any benefits due to you at these difficult times.

Can I claim UK benefits if I am widowed in Spain ?

If you or your deceased spouse or civil partner was under the age for claiming a UK State Pension at the time of bereavement, you could be eligible to apply for Bereavement Benefit from the UK.

You can apply to have any benefits made to you in one of three ways :

* Bereavement Payment - a one off tax free lump sum payment of £2,000.

* Bereavement Allowance - a monthly payment, payable for one year for people who are over 45.

* Widowed Parent's Allowance – which is payable only to those with dependant children.

To see if you are eligible to apply for this benefit, and proceed with your application directly from Spain, you will need to contact the Bereavement Benefit section of the International Pension Centre in Newcastle on 0044 191 218 3847. Whilst it will understandably be the last thing on your mind at a time like this, it is important to try and make the application as soon as possible after the time of your bereavement, as once a period of 3 Months has passed, then eligibility to the benefit may become affected.

If both you and your deceased spouse or civil partner were over the State Pension age at the time of bereavement, you would not normally be entitled to a Bereavement Benefit. Instead, the International Pension Centre will calculate an increase in your State Pension, depending on your National Insurance contributions. Contact the same office on the above telephone number to arrange this.

However, if the deceased partner ever worked or paid social security contributions here in Spain, it would be beneficial to read How to claim a widow or widowers pension in Spain.

Comment on this Article

S Parker : Probably the best, easiest and most important thing you can do for your Mothers to find out WHO is giving her this legal advise, and to find out if they are appropriately qualified / registered / regulated.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 5th Apr 2015
hi my mum lives in spain my dad died in 2010 and never claimer widows pension can she still claim it she never claimed a death grant and tthey were bothe on state pension can she claim it now a spnish solicither has got over 8 thousanfdeuros out of her to make a will and make sure her very meager appartment goes to her daughters is this ok a one to on conversation would be so helpful as my mum lives in spain on her own and is very stubbon and private i need to be able to help her can you help me do this i am at the moment batteling cancer so my mum will not ask me for advice so I am asking you kind regards susan parker
S Parker - Sun 5th Apr 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen: My name is Luz D.Eyden. I live in Spain with my husband Walter Eyden a UK. citizen. he is 63 year of age, and I am 62. I would like to know when can I claim wife's benefits ?
Luz Eyden - Wed 8th May 2013
Hi my name is cindy and i live here in spain with my mum and 2 kids my dad passed away 10 weeks ago I was just wondering is my mum intilted to benifits as we have no income at all ?
Cindy - Tue 25th Sep 2012
Marion, the assitance that you are entitled to recieve from the state - either here in Spain or back in the UK - will largely depend upon the contributions that you have already made in each country. I would start by speaking with HMRC on the above number and exploring your options if you did decide to return to the UK. They may well pass you to another department, but it is a good starting point.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 29th Mar 2011
I have just discovered your reply to my question on bereavement assistance. As this was sometime ago I managed to pay the funeral bill with the help of friends and family. I am now at the stage where I am seriously thinking of returning to the UK to be closer to my family. I miss my partner very much and Tenerife holds a lot of fond memories but feel very alone. What I need to know now is would I receive any kind of assistance ie. accommodation etc and what benefits would I be entitled to. Although I have worked here for many years and paid into the system I don't believe I would receive anything from the government by way of pension. I do already receive my UK pension. I would be grateful for your thoughts on this matter.
Marion Williams - Thu 24th Mar 2011
Marion, Unfortunately this seems to be one of the incidences where the UK Government does not recognise a 'common law' marriage, but they are happy recognise a Civil Partnership. I have looked (very briefly) over the Spanish Social Security website, and as far as I can see you "may" be eligible to claim some form of assistance - assuming that A) You were recognised as co-habiting on the Padron issued by your Town Hall and B) You were Spanish residents and C ) You had paid into the Spanish SS system. It may be worth looking into - Let me know if you would like me post you the Website ( In english )
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 13th Dec 2010
Thank you for your email. I have just telephoned the number you quoted and was told that as we were not married at time of my partners death I am not entitled to any kind of bereaement assistance. How can this be in light of what your article says. I look forward to hearing from you.
Marion Williams - Mon 13th Dec 2010
Sorry to hear of your loss Marion. We would strongly recommend that you spoke with the agency on the telephone number (above) quoting the NI number for yourself and your husband, They will be able to look at you specific circumstances and advise you if and how they can help.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 12th Dec 2010
My partner of 14 years died on 29 November 2010. I was told that I could claim bereavement payment to help with funeral expenses as we had no life insurance. My partner was only 57 when he died. After reading this article I believe I might be entitled to claim. Is this correct.
Marion Williams - Sun 12th Dec 2010
I am spanish parmanet resident is it now permited to dublin and work with visa?.please let me know
Mike - Tue 18th May 2010