The DWP Urges Bereaved Parents to Claim Backdated Payments as Soon as Possible.The Government is reminding bereaved parents to assess their potential eligibility for retroactive payments. This reminder comes after a legislative change in February expanded access to bereavement support payment and widowed parent’s allowance to cohabiting parents with dependent children.
The DWP Urges Bereaved Parents to Claim Backdated Payments as Soon as Possible
These benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to individuals coping with the economic repercussions of losing a partner.
Eligibility Extension for Cohabiting Parents
Before February, only bereaved parents in legal marriages or civil partnerships were eligible for these benefits. However, the recent change now includes cohabiting parents with dependent children as well.
Time Limit for Retroactive Claims
Bereaved parents should take note that they could be entitled to backdated payments. If a partner passed away prior to February 9, 2023, they have until February 8, 2024, to apply for these benefits. After this date, claiming the widowed parent’s allowance will not be possible, and the full backdated payment entitlement for bereavement support payment will be forfeited.
Statement from DWP Minister Viscount Younger of Leckie
Viscount Younger of Leckie, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister, emphasized the significance of this legal change. He urged eligible parents to initiate their claims promptly to access the financial support provided by these benefits.
Determining Eligibility Based on Partner’s Passing Date
The benefits parents are eligible for depend on the date of their partner’s demise. If the partner passed away before April 6, 2017, the widowed parent’s allowance should be claimed. Conversely, if the partner’s passing occurred on or after April 6, 2017, the appropriate claim is for the bereavement support payment, which has replaced the widowed parent’s allowance.
Backdating Timeline and Qualification Criteria
It is essential to note that the earliest date for retroactive payments is August 30, 2018, irrespective of the partner’s passing date before this. To qualify for these bereavement benefits, parents must be below the state pension age, have made specific national insurance contributions, and either be pregnant or have a dependent child on the day of their partner’s passing.
Encouragement from Childhood Bereavement Network Director
Alison Penny, the director of the Childhood Bereavement Network, expressed her appreciation for the positive impact of backdated payments on parents and their children. She encouraged potentially eligible individuals to investigate this opportunity and seek professional welfare benefits advice if uncertainty arises regarding its implications on their broader tax and social security entitlements.
Application Process and Additional Resources
Applicants residing in England, Scotland, and Wales should apply through the UK Government. Detailed eligibility information for bereavement support payment can be found at www.gov.uk/bereavement-support-payment, while the application can be submitted online, over the phone, or through a paper form. Similarly, information about eligibility for widowed parent’s allowance can be accessed at www.gov.uk/widowed-parents-allowance, with applications made via a downloadable paper form or by phone.
For further bereavement assistance and support, visit www.gov.uk/after-a-death/bereavement-help-and-support. Bereaved parents in Northern Ireland should apply to the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland. Information specific to Northern Ireland residents can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/bereavement-support-payment and www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/widowed-parents-allowance.
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