Children of cohabiting parents now eligible for bereavement benefits
15 February 2023
Earlier this month the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that cohabiting parents will be able to claim bereavement benefits to help them bring up dependent children.
This comes as a result of two cases brought by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) with The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN) in which GCN’s social security specialist Tom Royston was involved:
- McLaughlin, Re Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) (Rev 1)  UKSC 48, and
- Jackson & Ors v The Secretary of State for Work And Pensions  EWHC 183 (Admin).
The changes to the eligibility criteria mean that cohabiting parents and carers whose partner dies from 9 February 2023 will be able to make a claim for Bereavement Support Payment if they meet the other eligibility criteria. We expect 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.
For more information about how to claim read: Cohabiting parents and bereavement benefits (childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk)
To find out more about The Childhood Bereavement Network’s successful campaign, read their press release at: Cohabiting parents will be eligible for bereavement benefits from tomorrow (childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk)