DWP changes to bereavement benefit rules could allow thousands of people to qualify for more than £ 9,500 in back pay

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The UK government plans to expand eligibility for bereavement assistance payments to help more families who have lost a loved one since August 2018.

Previously, a surviving parent could only claim financial assistance if he was married or in a civil partnership at the time of the death of his spouse or civil partner. However, as part of new plans to be implemented next summer, 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 their death. their death.

It is estimated that around 22,500 families will now be able to claim this life-saving aid, totaling an additional £ 320million to help bereaved children over the next five years.



Rule change will allow more bereaved families to receive crucial support

Thousands of families will also be able to claim up to £ 9,800 in backdated benefit payments from next September under the rule change.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the changes in the fall budget last month.

The budget policy costing document states: “The government announced in July 2021 that it would expand eligibility for bereavement support payments and the widowed parent’s allowance for people with cohabiting children. with a partner but who were neither married nor in a civil partnership.

“This will likely come into effect in the summer of 2022 once the remedial order is approved by Parliament.”

The document adds: “Payments will be made from the effective date of the repair order, which is assumed to be September 2022 for the purposes of this costing.

“However, this date may change depending on the parliamentary calendar.”

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Minister Baroness Stedman-Scott recently outlined the plans and said at the time: “The death of a loved one is devastating and can have significant financial implications as well. .

“This change will allow more families to access support during the most difficult times, and I hope to make this possible as quickly as possible.”

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

What is bereavement support payment work?

Bereavement Allowance has replaced Bereavement Allowance (formerly Widow’s Pension), Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

Financial aid

The guidelines on DWP’s GOV.UK state, “You must claim within three months of your partner’s death to get the full amount. You can apply for up to 21 months after they die, but you will receive fewer monthly payments.

You may be eligible if your partner:

  • paid national insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in a fiscal year since April 6, 1975
  • died as a result of a work-related accident or work-related illness

When they died, you were to be:

  • below retirement age
  • living in the UK or a country paying death benefit

Bereavement Support Payment Rate

DWP will pay you a first payment, then up to 18 monthly payments – there are two rates.

If you receive family allowances, or if you do not receive them but are entitled to them, you will benefit from the highest rate.

If you do not receive family allowances, you will benefit from the lower rate, unless you were pregnant when your husband, wife or civil partner died.

Higher rate

  • First payment – £ 3,500
  • Monthly payments – £ 350

Lower rate

  • First payment – £ 2,500
  • Monthly payments – £ 100


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What if you get benefits

The bereavement support payment will not affect your benefits for one year after your first payment.

After one year, the money you have left from your first payment could affect the amount you will receive if you renew or apply for another benefit.

You must notify your benefit office when you begin to receive the bereavement support payment.

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website here.

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