After funeral guidance

In Ireland it is a legal requirement that every death that takes place in the state must be registered. A death can be registered in any General Register Office, a death must be registered as soon as possible after a death and by law, must be done within three months. It is usually registered by the next of kin. Alternatively, it may be registered by a person who was present during the death or final illness of the deceased, or has knowledge of the required particulars.In order to register a death you need a Death Notification Form, this is obtained from the doctor who certified the death. There is no charge to register a death, however, if you wish to obtain a copy of a death cert this costs €20.00.

  • Book months memory mass
  • Months memory acknowledgement in local press
  • Memorial stationery
  • Bereavement counselling – see links below
  • Headstone erection / inscription
  • Cancel standing orders eg. health insurance, phone bills etc
  • Credit Union grant available to members (Contact your local Credit Union for details)

After a bereavement you may need financial support. The Department of Social Protection provides certain once-off payments to help out families during this difficult time. Your local Department of Social Protection’s representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) deals with some of these payments.

You must have made a certain number of PRSI contributions to be eligible for some social welfare payments. You may be eligible for other payments, if you pass a means test or if you are in urgent need. Time limits apply for many payments, so apply as early as is possible.

You cannot be expected to do everything right away, but if the deceased was getting a social welfare payment or you were claiming for them as a dependant or you were getting a Carer’s Allowance to look after them, it’s important that you notify the Department of Social Protection within the first few days of the death.

Notifying the Department does not mean the payment will be taken back immediately. In many cases, the spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, parent or carer may continue to receive a payment for six weeks following the death.

Help with funeral costs, you can get help with the cost of the funeral:

  • The Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant is a once-off payment to widows/widowers/surviving civil partners with dependent children. This payment was formerly called the Widowed Parent Grant.
  • If someone dies from an accident at work, a Funeral Grant is available.
  • The Bereavement Grant was discontinued in 2014.

Whether you qualify or not for one of the above grants you may be eligible for an Exceptional Needs Payment to help with funeral costs if you are on a low income. Each case is decided on its merits. The Community Welfare Service prefers if you apply before the funeral takes place, but in practice, most people apply afterwards.

In many cases a payment or a grant cannot be paid until all the necessary documentation is received. If you are claiming the grant, you are responsible for the production of certificates, documents and any information required, for example:

  • Death certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership certificate (to prove your relationship to the deceased)
  • Funeral receipts
  • The deceased person’s Personal Public Service number (PPS number)
  • Your PPS number may also be required.

See the citizens information website – ‘benefits & entitlements following a death’ for more information.


Useful Links:

Citizen Information (Bereavment& Death)
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Anam Cara (Supporting beareaved parents, regardless of the age of their child)
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Deparment of Social Protection
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Aware (Support through Depression)
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Irish Hospice Foundation
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Bereavement Counselling Services
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Sosad. Address 6, Parnell St., Carrickmacross.
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