The death subsidy aims to facilitate the reorganization of family life after the death of a Social Security beneficiary. Know the value and how to apply.
O death grant helps to protect the deceased citizen’s family in a difficult time. This cash benefit, paid in one lump sum to the beneficiary’s family members, is intended to compensate for the increased costs resulting from the beneficiary’s death.
This support is intended to facilitate the reorganization of the lives of the deceased beneficiary’s family members.
Death subsidy: what are the conditions of access?
In order for family members to access the death subsidy, the deceased must be covered by the general social security system or had at least three years (36 months) of discounts for the voluntary social security scheme.
If the deceased person has never contributed to Social Security or to another mandatory social protection scheme, their family members can use the funeral subsidy as an alternative.
Another condition for accessing the death subsidy is the existence of family members of the deceased, as only they can apply for it, as we will see below.
Who is entitled to the death benefit?
The attribution of this subsidy depends on whether or not the beneficiary’s family members are in a position to apply for it. The death grant may be awarded to the following persons:
Deceased Beneficiary’s Spouse
If there are no children of the marriage, the spouse is only entitled to the death subsidy if he/she married the beneficiary at least one year before the date of his/her death, unless the death resulted from an accident or illness contracted or manifested after the marriage.
If before getting married they lived in a de facto union and, in total, completed more than two years of life together, this rule does not apply either.
In the case of being divorced or legally separated from persons and property, the ex-spouse may be entitled to the subsidy. But only if the right to alimony has been judicially recognized, decreed or approved by the court, and if this has been maintained until the date of the beneficiary’s death.
Person in de facto union
The death subsidy can be granted to the person with whom the beneficiary has been living in a de facto relationship for more than two years. However, the partner is only entitled to the subsidy if the beneficiary was not married. The same applies to the applicant himself.
For this, you must prove the de facto union, presenting the documentation requested by the National Pensions Centre.
Children, even if they are not yet born, and fully adopted, may access the death subsidy provided they are under 18 years old.
If they are 18 or over and do not make Social Security discounts (work done during school holidays is not included here), they are also entitled to the subsidy if they are still studying.
The requirements are as follows:
- From 18 to 25 years old – must be enrolled in any secondary, non-tertiary post-secondary or tertiary level course;
- Up to 27 years old – as long as they are enrolled in postgraduate courses, master’s or doctoral study cycles, or are undertaking an internship essential for obtaining the respective degree.
When it comes to a descendant with a disability who receives family allowances or social allowances for inclusion, there is no age limit.
Stepchildren under the age of 18, for whom the deceased beneficiary was obliged to pay maintenance, are also included in this group.
As long as they were dependent on the beneficiary at the time of death and only if there is no spouse/cohabiting partner, ex-spouse or descendants entitled to the death subsidy, this can be attributed to the ascendants (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents).
Other relatives and relatives
In the absence of all the family members mentioned, the subsidy may be granted to other parties, provided that they had the beneficiary under their care at the time of death. Among these people are:
- Brothers, uncles, nephews;
- Stepfathers, stepmothers, fathers or brothers of stepfathers or stepmothers;
- Parents-in-law, parents or siblings of in-laws;
- Brothers-in-law and children of brothers-in-law;
- Sons-in-law and daughters-in-law;
- Children of stepchildren.
How much is the death subsidy?
According to the Social Securitythe death subsidy is paid in one lump sum and is currently 1,441.29 euros, which is equivalent to three times the Social Support Index.
If the persons who are entitled to this benefit are unable or unwilling to bear the funeral expenses, the amount of these expenses is then deducted from the amount of the death subsidy.
The allowance is also deducted from the amount of the pension that has been unduly received from the month following the death.
How to apply?
The death subsidy can be requested at the Social Security services, at Loja do Cidadão, or by mail. In either case, you will have to submit an application for death benefits (Mod. RP5075-DGSS) with the documents indicated therein.
If you send the form and other documents by post, also send an addressed and stamped envelope to the Social Security and return a receipt confirming the delivery of the application.
The request must be made within 180 days of the date of death or disappearance, in the case of presumption of death.
Thus, depending on the circumstance of death and/or the applicant’s situation, additional documents may be requested:
- Mod. RP 5078-DGSS – Declaration – Act of liability of a third party (Benefits for Death / Funeral subsidy / Reimbursement of funeral expenses) – if the death resulted from an accident;
- Mod. RV1017-DGSS – for national citizens, if they do not have a Social Security Identification Number (NISS);
- Mod. RV1017-DGSS together with the Mod. RV1006-DGSS – for foreign citizens, if they do not have a Portuguese Social Security Identification Number;
- Mod. RP 5083-DGSS – Declaration of De facto Union situation certified by the Parish Council of the area of residence.
Anyone who makes false statements resulting in the undue granting of the subsidy is subject to the payment of a fine that can vary between 74.82 euros and 249.40 euros.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in February 2023.