24 Feb 2023
Bereavement benefits extended to unmarried cohabiting parents
We want to help raise awareness of the recent DWP announcement about a change to the bereavement benefits rule by parliament.
The Department for Work and Pensions announced that from 9th February 2023, cohabiting parents will now be able to claim bereavement benefits to help them bring up dependent children.
Until now, cohabiting families were excluded from the government support package due to their marital or civil partnership status.
Campaigners have fought tirelessly for over a decade to extend eligibility to cohabiting families with children and it is estimated that around 1,800 parents a year have missed out on these payments because they were living with, but not married to, or in a civil partnership with their partner when they died.
The benefits are designed to help parents with the financial impact of losing a partner and the law change will ensure more children in bereaved families are equally supported, regardless of their parent’s legal relationship status.
Additionally, families bereaved as long ago as 2001 stand to be eligible for back payments going back to 30th August 2018.
The Department for Work and Pensions has opened a special 12-month application window for bereaved parents with dependent children, whose partner died before 9 February 2023.
Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression Mims Davies MP said ‘We have made this important change to help thousands more grieving parents access the financial support they need and deserve. I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible to make an application, as crucially, some bereaved parents will also be able to receive backdated payments to ensure they don’t miss out.’
Help us raise awareness of this rule change, as it could help those who are eligible to claim before February 2024, to receive the financial support they would have received had they been married at the time of their partner’s death.