What to do if a child or baby dies

You must register the death. You may also need to report the death of a child to other organisations depending on your circumstances.

There are different rules for registering a stillbirth.

Child Benefit

You should tell the Child Benefit Office as soon as possible if you’re claiming Child Benefit.

Child Benefit payments will usually carry on for 8 weeks after a child’s death.

You may still be able to claim Child Benefit if your child died before you made a claim.

If a newborn baby dies

You’re entitled to up to 8 weeks of Child Benefit if you claim within 3 months of the death.

If the child died before the end of the week they were born in, the 8 weeks starts from the Monday following the death.

If a child is stillborn

You cannot claim Child Benefit if the child’s stillborn.

Tax credits

If you’re claiming tax credits and your child dies, your payments may change. You’ll need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 1 month of the death. If you do not, you might:

  • have to pay back overpayments
  • not get all the money you’re owed

You can continue to get tax credits for up to 8 weeks following the death.

If the child died before you claimed tax credits, you can still claim (unless the child was stillborn). Call HMRC to claim.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

You can still get the grant if you qualify. You must make a claim within 3 months of the birth.

Maternity and paternity leave and pay

You’ll still qualify for leave and pay if your baby:

  • is stillborn after the start of the 24th week of pregnancy
  • dies after being born

Parental bereavement leave and pay

You and your partner may be eligible for parental bereavement leave and pay if you’re employed and either:

  • your child dies before they turn 18
  • you have a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy

The death or stillbirth must have happened on or after 6 April 2020.

Child Trust Fund payments

When a child dies, any money in their Child Trust Fund account - including any payments from the government - usually passes to whoever inherits the child’s estate.

  1. Step 1 Register the death

    1. Register the death within 5 days

    Check what to do if:

    To stop or change benefits payments you can tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the death straight away.

  2. Step 2 Arrange the funeral

  3. Step 3 Tell government about the death

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. If you cannot use Tell Us Once, tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died
    2. You are currently viewing: Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. and Check if you need to apply to stay in the UK

    If your right to live in the UK depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

    Check the rules if:

    1. Contact UKVI to check the rules for other visas
  7. Step 5 Apply for probate and check if you need to pay Inheritance Tax

    You might need to apply for probate and pay Inheritance Tax before you can deal with the property, money and possessions (the ‘estate’) of the person who died.

    1. Check if you need to apply for probate
    1. Estimate the value of the estate to find out if you need to pay Inheritance Tax
    1. Find out how to report the value of the estate
    1. Pay Inheritance Tax if it’s due
    1. Apply for probate
  8. Step 6 Deal with the estate

    Pay any debts or taxes owed by the person who's died. You can then distribute the estate as set out in the will or the law.

    1. Deal with the estate
    1. Update property records