The deadline for bereavement support payments is looming as parents who have lost a partner have until February 8th to make a backdated claim to the government for financial help.
Previously, only married couples or those in civil partnerships were eligible for a widowed parent’s benefit, but last year, this was extended to include cohabiting couples.
The government has granted a 12-month window for cohabiting couples to make claims dating back to 2001. If not claimed by the looming deadline, only payments from August 30th, 2018, onwards will be accessible. The benefit, previously known as widowed parent’s allowance (2001-2017), was replaced by bereavement support payments. For those whose partners passed away between April 9th, 2001, and April 5th, 2017, the backdated claim for widowed parent’s allowance must be submitted promptly.
The amount one can receive depends on the national insurance contributions made by the deceased partner, with a maximum of £139.10 per week (£7,233 per year). Eligibility criteria include being below the state pension age when the partner died, the partner’s national insurance contributions, and entitlement to child benefit or pregnancy at the time of the partner’s death.
To apply for backdated widowed parent’s benefit, a claim form can be downloaded from gov.uk, and it must be submitted to the specified address before the imminent deadline.
For those whose partners passed away after April 5th, 2017, there is an opportunity for backdated bereavement support, amounting to £9,800. This support is not means-tested and comes in two rates based on marital status and parental status at the time of the partner’s death. Married individuals with no children or those not pregnant can receive a lump sum of £2,500 and 18 monthly payments of £100.
Meanwhile, individuals living with their partner and having children or being pregnant at the time of their partner’s death are eligible for a lump sum of £3,500 and 18 monthly payments of £350, regardless of marital status.