It is a legal requirement in Ireland that every death that takes place in the State must be recorded and registered. Records of deaths in Ireland are held in the General Register Office, which is the central civil repository for records relating to Births, Marriages and Deaths in Ireland. You can apply for a copy of a death certificate in any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Death or to the General Register Office.
A death can be registered in the office of any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Death, irrespective of where the death occurs. The staff of the hospital (if the death occurred in a hospital) or of your local health centre, will be able to tell you where you can register the death.
Deaths must be registered as soon as possible after the death and no later than 3 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. Further information on who can register the death is available from the General Register Office.
In order to register a death, a Qualified Informant must bring to the Registrar’s Office a copy of the Death Notification Form (DNF). Please note that HSE documents in relation to death registration refer to their own DNF Form incorrectly as a Death Registration Form (DRF). In addition, the Informant must provide certain information required for registration.
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After bereavement, it may be of interest to you to know that there might be financial supports and certain grants & payments available to you. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) provides certain one-off payments to help out families during this difficult time. Your local DEASP’s representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) deals with some of these payments.
These payments are paid under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. You may be eligible for an Exceptional Needs Payment to help you with the cost of a funeral if your income is low. Each case is decided on its merits by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local office.
To be eligible for this grant, the death must have resulted from:
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This grant is available where a death occurs of a parent with dependent children (under 18 or over if in full-time education). The Grant is paid when the widowed parent applies for the widow/widower pension.
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Death Benefit Insurance (DBI) is a unique service offered by some Credit Unions to help pay for end of life expenses. It pays a fixed lump sum in the event of death and where death is as a result of an accident, the lump sum can be doubled. There are some terms and conditions to meet for inclusion and you should ask your Credit Union about these and the amount of DBI lump sum currently payable. You should also check with your Credit Union how the premium is paid. Further details may be obtained from your local Credit Union.