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.
This is the culmination of a long campaign for justice for bereaved children, who deserve support whatever their parents’ marital status.
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. We expect around 1,800 more families to be able to make a claim each year.
Some parents previously denied the benefits because they were not married or in a civil partnership when their partner died are able to make a retrospective claim.
What you should know about making a retrospective claim
Retrospective claims for those whose partner died before 6 April 2017 have now closed.
Parents whose partner died between 6 April 2017 and 8 February 2023 can make a retrospective claim, as long as they met the eligibility criteria on or after 30 August 2018 (the date that the Supreme Court ruled that the old eligibility criteria were unlawful). The window for making these claims closes on 8 November 2024, and the amount that can be claimed reduces as we approach that date, so if you want to claim, you should do so as quickly as possible.
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.
We have produced Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand the process.
If you are in any doubt about the implications a retrospective payment will have on your wider finances, seek independent advice before you put in a claim. CBN is not able to give individual advice. You can find an adviser here.
We need your help to spread the news
It's crucial that we find the families that could be in line for a back payment. It would be devastating if families missed out again, because they weren't aware of the changes.
Please do what you can to help.
- Share this page with anyone whose partner died between 6 April 2017 and 8 February 2023, leaving them bringing up children for whom they were still eligible for child benefit in August 2018.
- Encourage them to check the FAQs above to check their eligibility and for more information
- Encourage them to seek independent welfare benefits advice if they are in any doubt about the impact on their finances of making a retrospective claim.