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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is proposing extending bereavement benefits to unmarried parents co-habiting with loved ones at the time of death.
As it stands, the Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Support Payments are only available to couples who are married or in civil partnerships. Under the new plans however, surviving partners with dependent children would only need to have been living with the deceased at the time of death to access the benefits.
Bereavement Payments are currently available in two rates, higher and lower. After an initial payment of £3,500 or £2,500 (depending on the respective rate), applicants can access up to 18 monthly payments of £350 or £100. The current Widowed Parent's Allowance is £122.55 a week.
DWP minister, Baroness Stedman-Scott, said:
"The death of a loved one is devastating and can also come with significant financial implications.
"This change will mean more families can access support during the most difficult of times, and I hope to make that possible as swiftly as I can."
The draft plans will now go before parliament for approval. If successful, the changes will apply retrospectively from 30 August 2018 with any backdated payments made as lump sums. It is estimated that over 22,000 families would be eligible to claim this support, meaning £320 million in additional support for bereaved partners.
How can Potter Rees Dolan help you?
The welfare benefits rules and application forms can be complicated. Here at Potter Rees Dolan we have a dedicated Welfare Benefits team, led by Peter Renshaw - a qualified solicitor with substantial experience, who work closely with our clients after injury. We talk to our clients in depth to find out about their personal circumstances, doing all we can to ensure they are claiming all of the welfare benefits to which they are entitled.
Call us on 0800 027 2557 or complete the online enquiry form on this page.
If you would like to read what our clients have to say about our welfare benefits services, click here.