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When a person dies

There are certain steps that need to be taken following the death of a person. These are outlined below along with a range of benefits and services available

Register Death

All deaths must be registered with the General Register Office (GRO) within three months.  A death can be registered at any Civil Registration Office and is usually registered by a family member. Alternatively, it may be registered by a person who was present at the death such as a hospital representative, by a near neighbour or, failing that, by the undertaker.

To register a death you must go to a Civil Registration Office and bring a medical certificate stating the cause of death with you. A list of civil registration offices is available on the HSE website.

You can get the medical certificate from the doctor who attended the deceased during their last illness. You must then sign the Register in the presence of the Registrar. This registration is free, and you will then be able to request a Death Certificate.  This record of the death is a very important legal document and should be kept in a safe place

If the deceased was in receipt of a pension or payment from the Dept.

If a person dies while in receipt of a social welfare payment, their death should be notified as soon as possible to the section of the Department dealing with their payment.

If the payment was made by book or by a Social Services Card, you should return the book or card with the notice of death. Keep a note of the Personal Public Service Number (PPS Number) or claim number.

In certain circumstances, the payment will continue to be paid to a Qualified Adult, such as a spouse, partner or carer for 6 weeks after death. This is normally paid by cheque when the book is returned or card payment stopped.

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension


Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension is a payment for widows and widowers who satisfy certain social insurance conditions based on their own PRSI contributions or that of their late spouse. It is not means-tested and so is not affected by other income you might have such as earnings, an occupational pension or a pension from your late spouse's employment.

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension


If you are widowed and do not qualify for a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension based on either your own or your late spouse's PRSI record, you may qualify for a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension. This is a means-tested payment and any income and capital you have, such as savings, investments, cash-in-hand and the value of property you own, except your own home, is taken into account  when working out your means.

Death Benefit

If a person dies because of an accident at work or occupational disease, Death Benefit may be paid to their dependants. It may also be paid to dependants if at the time of their death the person was getting Disablement Pension.

Funeral Grant

If you an entitled to Death Benefit, a grant is also paid towards the cost of the funeral expenses

Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant

If you are widowed and have dependent children under age 18 (or under age 22 if in full time education) you may be entitled to a Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant.  The grant applies to those who were widowed on or after 1st December 1999 with at least one qualified child.

Last modified:03/07/2015

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