Words by Abi Scaife
Cohabiting parents will be eligible for bereavement benefits from today.
Tell me more.
Previously, families have been denied support when a parent has died because the parents were not married or in a civil partnership.
This has resulted in around 1,800 parents a year missing out on these payments and bringing up their dependants alone, without financial support.
So what has changed?
Now, families where the parents were cohabiting, but not in a marriage or civil partnership, will be entitled to financial support when they are bereaved. Plus, around 21,000 families, some bereaved as long ago as 2001, may be eligible for a retrospective payment, potentially worth several thousands of pounds.
Families will have 12 months from 9 February 2023 to submit their claim to get the full amount they are entitled to.
This is a huge step forward in helping ‘non-traditional’ families get the financial support they deserve and so badly need when they are bereaved.
How did this happen?
It's been the result of support and campaigning from charitable groups. Georgia Elms, campaign ambassador for WAY Widowed and Young, said of the news: "We want to say a huge thank you to the brave parents who brought the cases on behalf of affected bereaved families and who shared their stories over the many years to highlight this injustice, as well as their legal teams and everyone who has signed petitions, written to their MPs and worked tirelessly over more than a decade to help make this change happen.”