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help with benifits after death. - Carers UK Forum

help with benifits after death.

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I have been a full time carer for ten years, my husband died three weeks ago today, he started with neck cancer and we managed it together, unfortunately last may he was also diagnosed with stage4 lung cancer, we also had to fight for ESA, which we won after appeal. I was hoping someone may help with benefits as we lost everything when he was first diagnosed, and had relied on benefits.He was 64 and I'm 59, will be grateful for any help.
Sorry for your loss. It's a very traumatic time. There are a number of us on the forum who have lost their partners or carees, so feel free to post whenever you like.
Contact DWP immediately so you can claim your "Bereavement Allowance". When I was widowed a few years ago, I think if you didn't claim immediately they wouldn't give you back pay.
Carers UK has a brilliant helpline for benefits advice, if you ring or email them they will give you a very good reply within a week.
Dear Kathryn

First of all my sincere condolences for your loss. I've been where you are now and it is hellish.....

Second, do you want to check this out?



Those two are government web sites, and obviously official.

I also spotted this

http://www.welfarerights.net/benefits-g ... s-Benefits

But not sure if it's a charity, or like Citizens Advice - use cautiously!

This one is from Macmillan Cancer charity, so should definitely be accurate and trustworthy

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information ... efits.html

Hope some of this is of help. Kind regards, Jenny
Kathryn, me again.

The immediate post-death period is absolute hell on earth..... and in a way made worse by having to do all the 'paperwork'....BUT, the paperwork can keep your mind busy as well, at a time when you simply don't want to think or feel anything at all.....

- Death Certificate: This is the most essential to sort out. It's going to be AWFUL going to collect it from the Register - makes it feel so terrifyingly real, but it has to be done. You need official copies to send to banks and so on. (Take photocopies, though these are not 'official' copies). Most organisations return the official copies you send them eventually.

- Banks/building society: Phone them straight away to tell them what has happened. They are usually very kind - they usually have a special department for the bereaved. They will need to see the death certificate. Did you have a bank account of your own, or did you have a joint one with your husband. Alas, if joint, it may be frozen while things are sorted out. Please tell the bank if this is so, and they MAY be able to make other arrangements temporarily?????

- DWP - tell them immediately - again, they may want to see a death certificate. His payments may stop immediately. They MAY try and 'back claim' if they think they've paid out after he died (nightmare). BUT, they may immediately start paying you something (which I hope they do!)

- Utility companies. If you can keep paying them, then I don't think you need 'rush' to tell them. In fact, speaking entirely 'off the record' I'm not sure I told them at all, for ages, as I think they'd said I'd have to open a new account just with me as the customer, and I couldn't face the faff at the time. So long as they get paid they don't care who pays them! The problem is if you CAN'T pay them until you get your new finances sorted. You could try simply telling them you're 'having difficulty' paying, and they may give you a payment plan that staggers payment. They usually would rather have some money every month, than no money for ages....

- Mortgage companies/landlord. Not too sure about this - mortgage companies you probably DO have to tell straight away. Others here will know, or the Advice Line will guide you.

- Funeral directors. Has your husband has his funeral yet? (I had to wait a fortnight for my husband at this 'busy' time of year.....). Paying for funerals can cause HUGE worry - a good funeral director will be sympathetic. I write as a fellow widow when I say 'don't pay for fancy stuff'......it's your LOVE that counts, not a silk lined mahoghany casket!

- Probate. You will probably need to consult a solicitor to sort out your inheritance, and to get probate sorted. Did your husband leave a will - I do hope so, makes things quicker and cheaper. If not, the solicitor will have to sort things out 'intestate' - more time consuming. Did you have children, stepchildren, etc - that will complicate matters too. You will need to make a list of all the 'assets' your husband had that are of any value - not everything counts. eg, I don't think furniture does. You won't have to pay any taxes as a widow, even if your husband was over the 'death duties' allowance of something like £300k worth of house/savings etc, because his 'allowance' passes straight to you for now. Probate takes a few months I seem to recall. You may find that bank accounts won't 'unfreeze' until probate is granted. It's quite formal, but the solicitor sees to it all. You will have to pay the solicitor - it comes out of what your husband has left you, if anything. Otherwise I think you have to pay directly?? I'm not sure if there's any way of getting out of probate, if there is a will - but others here will know more than me on that.

Overall, though this is the LAST thing you feel like doing, write down lists of things you have to do, and tick them off slowly, one by one. Mail will arrive marked 'Executor of Mr T Smith', and it will make you HOWL. Awful awful awful.

I do hope you have some family around you now - I did, and they were a godsend. I look back now and wonder how I got through it all. Yet somehow I did - you will too. It's hell on earth, but you will do it, I promise you.

With kindest wishes, fellow cancer-widow, Jenny. :(
Kathryn - me yet again...

One last thing for now.

Take a look at

Wayup is based on a charity/group called WAY - Widowed and Young - but is for the next 'age up' ie, our age.

I found it a god-send. EVERYONE in the group knew what I was going through, as they were going through it too, or had been a while back. I didn't have to explain why I would break into howls of grief while making a cup of tea, or sometimes just sit blankly thinking I can't go on - they'd all done that too.

Only thing - their current webpage, when you click on it, talks about 'going forward'....don't take any notice, within the forum itself there is a section (or was, when I last looked) for the 'newly bereaved' when 'forward' isn't a word that has ANY meaning. That's the section that helped me most - we were all raw and bleeding from the heart.....

Also, the Macmillan forum has sections for us too, the newly cancer-bereaved.

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/canc ... iscussions

Hope you find this is something that you can cling to perhaps....

Kindest thoughts, Jenny
Thank you all for your kind words, I can make a start,I have a great family around me, but they have their own sadness to deal with,my husband did all the paper work so it's a bit of a learning curve for me.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Please keep in touch.
I haven't lost my husband as such. He's in a nursing home.( Dementia)
He too, did most of the paperwork etc, so I understand your added distress. You will get there given time. You don't think you will, but eventually things click into place. (( HUGS))
I've dealt with admin things all my working life, including medical records, so I usually take paperwork in my stride, but I HATED the sea of paperwork after my apparently fit husband died in his sleep from a massive heart attack at the age of 58, I was 54. There seemed to be papers everywhere all wanting me to do something, send something etc.
In the end, I found a lever arch file, some of the plastic "sleeves" to go inside, a stapler, and a hole punch. Some sticky labels are useful, and some paperclips.
Firstly, put everything relating to one subject together in piles, HSBC, Halifax, Gas, Electric, etc.
Then sort them in date order, with the newest on top. Staple them together, and slip them in a sleeve.
Put a sticky label on the sleeve with contact details. Halifax, Mary Bloggs, 01 xxxxx.
This will already have tamed the paperwork to some extent, hopefully. Then look at each one in turn. If any involve you getting money, they go on the top! At the moment, they are probably most important.
Then put all the sleeves in the ring binder. What isn't important at the back, most important on top.
It's very easy to get overwhelmed and cry buckets if you do too much at once. So promise yourself you will deal with ONE thing every day. Two on a good day. It's surprising how quickly this works.
As you deal with each one, put a piece of paper inside the sleeve to record who you spoke to, where, when and what was agreed.
When something is finished with, put it in a new "finished" file.
If there is anything you need to know, just ask the forum, lots of us have dealt with this sort of thing, we are here to help.