Cohabiting parents and bereavement benefits

URGENT Window to claim full amount of retrospective payment closes 8 February 2024

From February 2023, cohabiting parents and carers have been able to claim the same bereavement benefits to help bring up their grieving children as if they had been married or in a civil partnership.

What does this mean?

The changes to the eligibility criteria mean that from 9 February 2023, cohabiting parents and carers whose partner dies have been able make a claim for Bereavement Support Payment if they meet the other eligibility criteria. It is expected that around 1,800 more families to be able to make a claim each year.

Around 21,000 families will also be able to make retrospective claims. Because the eligibility criteria were found to be unlawful on 30 August 2018, the Government will also make retrospective payments back to that point to those who had missed out because they were not married or in a civil partnership. Some of these families will have been bereaved as long ago as 2001.

What you should know about making a retrospective claim:

You have until 8 February 2024 to put in a retrospective claim and get the full amount you are entitled to.  After that date you will not be able to claim any retrospective payments of Widowed Parent's Allowance.

** Your claim MUST have reached the Department for Work and Pensions by that date - make sure you leave enough time for the post to be delivered. **

Make sure you have the advice and information you need about how a retrospective payment might affect previous and future tax, tax credits and benefits before you put in a claim.

For more information:

There is some excellent advice on the Child Bereavement Network’s website which can be found here. 

If you need help with anything else, then we’re here to help.

Please note the 8 February deadline!

Tom Togher

January 2024.