Bereavement Grant


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Internal Guidelines used in processing claims

Index

Part 1: Entitlement
Description of Scheme
Information Leaflet
Legislation
Administration
Relevant Insured Person
Qualified Child
Contribution Conditions
Disqualification for Imprisonment

Part 2: Claims, Investigation and Decision Procedures
Claims
Late Claims
Documentation
Investigation of Claim
Decisions
Appeals
Payment


PART 1: ENTITLEMENT

Description of Scheme

A Bereavement Grant is a once-off payment based on PRSI contributions which is payable on the death of:

  • an insured person
  • the wife or husband of an insured person
  • the widow or widower of an insured person
  • a contributory pensioner (or spouse of a contributory pensioner)
  • a child under age 18, or under age 22 if in full-time education (where either parent or the person that the child normally lives with satisfies the PRSI contribution conditions)
  • the qualified adult of a contributory pensioner, including those who would be qualified but are in receipt of another social welfare payment e.g. Carers Allowance
  • a qualified child
  • an orphan or a person to whom a Guardian's Payment (Contributory) is payable

The scheme was introduced on 2 February 1999 as a replacement for the former Death Grant scheme. The qualifying conditions, range of persons entitled to payment, and the rate of payment have all been substantially improved.

The scheme is designed to provide financial assistance to alleviate funeral and other post-bereavement expenses by way of a once-off grant on the death of an insured person.

Entitlement to the grant is subject to certain contribution conditions being satisfied.

If the death was caused by an accident at work or a prescribed occupational disease, a Funeral Grant under the Occupational Injuries scheme may be payable. See separate guideline on "OIB/Death Benefit" for further details.

Information Leaflet:

'Bereavement Grant' SW 47

Legislation

The main provisions in relation to Bereavement Grant are contained in Chapter 20 of Part II of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005, as amended by Section 18 of the Social Welfare Act 2007 and in the Claims and Payments Provisions contained in S.I. 142/2007, as amended.

Administration

The Bereavement Grant scheme is administered in the Department's Social Welfare Services Offices in both Longford and Sligo. Claim forms and enquiries should be made to the appropriate office.

WHERE TO CLAIM:

If the deceased person was in receipt of one of these listed pensions/allowances

or

If the deceased person was a dependant (adult/child) of a person who is in receipt of one of these listed pensions/allowances

  • State Pension (Contributory)
  • State Pension (Transition)
  • State Pension (Non-Contributory)
  • Blind Person's Pension
  • Widow/er's (Contributory) Pension
  • Widow/er's (Non Contributory) Pension
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit
  • Deserted Wife's Allowance
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardian's Payment (Non Contributory)

Please forward the application form to

Social Welfare Services Office
College Road
Sligo

Telephone


LoCall 1890 500 000
Dublin (01) 704 3000

All other Bereavement Grant Claims should be forwarded to

Bereavement Grant Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford

Telephone

Longford (043) 334 00 00

Relevant Insured Person

The contribution conditions must be satisfied by 'the relevant insured person' who is defined as the deceased person or his/her spouse.

Where the deceased was a dependant child, the contribution conditions must be satisfied by either:

  1. the father or mother of that child, or
  2. the person with whom that child was normally residing at the time of the child's death (or with whom the child would have normally been residing if s/he had not been committed to a reformatory or an industrial school), or
  3. the spouse of the person with whom the child was normally residing (i.e. the spouse of the person referred to at (b) above).
Qualified Child

To qualify as a dependant child, a person:

  • must have been under 18 at the date of death, or over the age of 18 years and under the age of 22 years and in full-time education
  • must have been ordinarily resident in the State on that date, and
  • must not have been entitled to a Bereavement Grant on the basis of his/her own PRSI record or, if married, on the PRSI record of his/her spouse.

This latter provision will rarely apply. It could arise, however, where for example, the dead child was aged between 16 and 18 years and had been in employment, and had sufficient PRSI contributions paid; in these circumstances the Bereavement Grant would be paid on this basis rather than as a 'qualified child'. Similarly, if the child was married and his/her spouse satisfied the PRSI conditions for receipt of a Bereavement Grant in respect of him/her, the Bereavement Grant would be paid on this latter basis.

Contribution Conditions

PRSI contributions paid at Classes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, N, P and S and Voluntary Contribution paid at the higher rate count for Bereavement Grant purposes.

A Bereavement Grant is payable if the relevant insured person had:

  • 156 PRSI contributions paid since entry into insurable employment

    or
  • at least 26 PRSI contributions paid since entry into insurable employment,

    and either,

    - 39 PRSI contributions paid or credited in the Relevant Tax Year

    or

    -
    a yearly average of 39 PRSI contributions paid or credited over the 3 or 5 tax years before the death occurred or pension age was reached (age 66 at present)

    or

    -
    a yearly average of 26 PRSI contributions 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)

    or

    -
    a yearly average of 26 PRSI contributions 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 last complete tax year before the year in which the death occurs or pension age was reached.

For example, if the death occurred in 2004, the relevant tax year is 2002.

Disqualification for Imprisonment

A Bereavement Grant is not payable if the claimant is in prison.

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES

Claims

The Bereavement Grant claim form BG 1 should be completed in full and signed by the claimant in all cases. The person should state the deceased person's Personal Public Service (PPS) Number. However, if s/he has no PPS number a new PPS number will be allocated.

Where the claimant is not able to sign the claim form, his/her mark instead of a signature, must be witnessed.

The claimant should forward relevant documentation (see below) with the claim form. However, rather than delay the claim, the documentation may be sent on later if it is not immediately available.

Late Claims

A claim for Bereavement Grant should be made within 12 months of the date of death. (See Claims and Late Claims Guidelines for details of exceptions that may be allowed.)

Documentation

In the case where the husband or wife of the deceased is claiming the Bereavement Grant, it is necessary to forward

either

a copy of the funeral bill or receipt of payment in the name of the applicant

and

a copy of the Death Certificate

or

In exceptional cases where neither of these are available, a newspaper cutting of the death notice may be accepted.

Where the claimant is someone other than the husband or wife a copy of the Death Certificate and Funeral Bill must be forwarded.

A Bereavement Grant cannot be awarded until all the necessary documentation has been provided.

Investigation of Claim

Particulars of the PRSI contributions paid by or credited to the insured person are obtained from the Department's Central Records Section.

Where it is evident from the details supplied by the claimant and by Central Records that all the qualifying conditions are fulfilled, or that one or more is/are clearly not fulfilled, the file will be referred immediately to a Deciding Officer for decision.

Where there is doubt about the fulfilment of a condition further enquiries will be made with the claimant by correspondence, by telephone or by referral to Social Welfare Investigators, depending on the nature of the query.

Decisions

Claims are decided by Deciding Officers appointed by the Minister under Section 246 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 1993. A notification of the decision confirming an award is issued to the claimant. In cases where claims are disallowed an explanation for the disallowance is given to the claimant.

Appeals

A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Deciding Officer may appeal that decision in writing within 21 days of the date of the decision, to the Chief Appeals Officer.

Payment

Payment of Bereavement Grant is made by cheque which is issued immediately following the decision of the Deciding Officer.

Payment may be made to the personal representative of the deceased or the husband or wife of any of the next-of-kin of the deceased or to any other person claiming to be entitled thereto.


Last modified:20/10/2009