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Updated : 20/06/2014

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Death grants

When a person dies, some countries pay a death grant (also known as bereavement payment) to the surviving next-of-kin (widow, widower, civil partner, children or other relative). Entitlement to a death grant will depend on:

  • which country's social insurance system the deceased was covered by, and whether that country provides death grants
  • what conditions are attached to payment of death grants in that country and whether those conditions are met.

Where to apply?

For death grants (where available), relatives of the deceased should always apply to the social insurance authority which he/she was registered with, in the country where he/she lived.

Which country will pay?

As a general guide,

if the deceased received a pension from just one EU country, that country will pay any death grant

  • if the deceased received a pension from several EU countries, the country where he/she lived (if he/she received a pension from it) or the country where he/she was insured for the longest, will pay the death grant.

In either cases, the application should still be made to the social insurance authority which the deceased was registered with, in the country where he/she lived.

Sample story

Get to know which country should pay your death grant

Els and Jan from the Netherlands moved to Italy when they retired. When Jan died, Els was told she could apply for a Dutch death grant, but she didn't know where she should apply for it.

Els contacted a European employment adviser and found out that she should apply to the health insurance authority where her husband was registered in Italy. This administration then forwarded her application to the Dutch authorities.

Find out more information about death grants in the country responsible for paying them:

National benefits systems by country.

Help and advice

Footnote

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

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