Social welfare legislation provides that the payments listed below may continue for a maximum of six weeks after death in a number of different circumstances.
Where a social welfare customer dies while in receipt of a payment which includes an increase for a qualified adult, or where each of the couple was claiming one of the payments in their own right, the payment may continue to the surviving spouse, civil partner or cohabitant for a period of six weeks after death.
Where the deceased person was a qualified adult on the pension, benefit or allowance of a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, payment will continue at the current rate (including the increase for the deceased qualified adult) for a period of six weeks following the death of the qualified adult provided the surviving spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is in receipt of one of the payments listed below.
The spouse or civil partner of a deceased person should apply to the Department for a widow’s, widower's or surviving civil partner’s pension which, if awarded, would be payable from week seven.
Where a qualified child dependant dies, the parent or guardian of the deceased child who was in receipt of a qualified child increase in respect of the child will continue to receive it for a period of six weeks following the child's death. This provision also applies to recipients of widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s (contributory) pension.
Where a person is in receipt of one-parent family payment by virtue of one qualified child and that child dies, the total weekly one-parent family payment will also continue for a period of six weeks.
Where a carer was in receipt of a carer's allowance or carer's benefit (and where the care recipient was not a spouse or partner) and the care recipient is now deceased, payment of the carer's benefit or carer's allowance continues to be made for a period of six weeks after the date of death of the care recipient.
Also, it should be noted that the period may be less than six weeks in certain cases. For example, if a surviving spouse or parent/guardian is in receipt of illness benefit and returns to work before the end of the six week period, the benefit is no longer payable.
The relevant payments are as follows:
- Blind pension;
- Carer's allowance;
- Carer's benefit;
- Death benefit under the injury benefit scheme;
- Disability allowance;
- Farm assist;
- Illness benefit;
- Incapacity supplement;
- Injury benefit;
- Invalidity pension;
- Jobseeker's allowance;
- Jobseeker's benefit;
- One-parent family payment;
- Pre-retirement allowance;
- State pension (contributory);
- State pension (transition);
- State pension (non-contributory);
- Supplementary welfare allowance.