Cohabiting couples to benefit from changes to bereavement benefit rules

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Today (Thursday 15 July 2021), Baroness Stedman-Scott will set out plans to extend bereavement support to cohabiting couples with children.

Previously, a surviving parent could only claim the financial support if they had been married or in a civil partnership at the time of their spouse or civil partner’s death.

Under these plans, Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Support Payments will be extended to surviving cohabiting partners with children who were living with their partner at the time of death.

It’s estimated that more than 22,000 families will now be able to claim this vital help, totalling an additional £320 million in support for bereaved children over the next five years.

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.

Under these draft plans, a surviving partner with dependent children will only need to have lived with the deceased on the date of death.

Once approved by Parliament, the changes will apply retrospectively from 30 August 2018, with any backdated payments being made as lump sums.

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