Research and analysis

Bereavement benefits: findings from qualitative research (RR790)

Findings from qualitative research into the financial impact of bereavement and the role of bereavement benefits.



by Katie Oldfield, Lorna Adams and Briony Gunstone

Bereavement benefits are paid to surviving spouses in the event of their partner’s death. They are intended to provide some replacement for the deceased partner’s income and reduce the impact of the disruption to the surviving partner’s own earning capacity at this time. Bereavement benefits are available to people who are married or in a civil partnership, subject to age conditions and National Insurance contributions.

This report presents findings from qualitative research with people who had received bereavement benefits during the last 18 months. Sixty depth interviews were carried out with recipients during September and October 2011. The interviews explored issues such as the financial impact of bereavement, the role of bereavement benefits, the impact of bereavement on the surviving partner’s career, and the impact of bereavement on childcare needs and arrangements. The research was carried out by IFF Research.