Fairer Welfare benefits
We are campaigning actively to improve provision for bereaved families.
Changes to bereavement benefits from April 2017
We are concerned about the impact of the government's plans to reform Bereavement Payment and Widowed Parents' Allowance. The new Bereavement Support Payment will replace these benefits for new claimants from April 2017. We estimate these changes will leave 75% of widowed parents worse off. You can email your MP about these changes here.
We are leading a coalition of organisations concerned about the changes. Read our latest briefing here.
Although we can make clear statements about how the changes will affect groups of widowed parents, it is almost impossible to predict the impact on a specific individual family, and to work out whether they would be worse off under the old or new scheme of bereavement benefits.
For parents who are terminally ill and worried about the future of their family, it is important to make sure they are claiming all the benefits they are currently entitled to. There is a good guide here, with specific information for people whose death ‘can reasonably be expected’ in the next six months
People can’t currently claim bereavement benefits if they weren’t married to their partner, so it makes sense for unmarried couples to seek advice about how they can make sure their family is supported post-bereavement. You can find an adviser here.
The Plan If website has more suggestions for parents of things they might want to put in place in case they die before their children grow up.
Unmarried cohabiting partners and bereavement benefits
We estimate that one in five parents raising children can't claim bereavement benefits if their long-term partner dies, because they weren't married or in a civil partnership before the death. Read why we don't think this is fair.
The two-child limit
We are concerned about the impact of the government's plans to limit certain benefits to two children for new claimants from April 2017. This will adversely affect the 13-16% of widowed parents making a new claim who have more than two children. Read our briefing for Committee Stage in the House of Lords here.
Funeral costs are rising faster than inflation, but the 'other expenses' part of the Social Fund Funeral Payment for those on a low income hasn't been increased since 2003. Concerned about the impact on children in families forced into poverty through funeral expenses, we have joined the Funeral Poverty Alliance. Read more here.