Cohabiting Couples Without Children

Non-married couples without children

Unfortunately, the new legislation introduced in February 2023 did not extend bereavement benefits to unmarried cohabiting couples without dependent children.

An Upper Tribunal made the disappointing ruling that denying Bereavement Support Payments to unmarried cohabiting couples without dependent children was not an infringement of their human rights.

The legal arguments that led to the change in legislation for cohabiting parents was based on the premise that denying support to children of unmarried couples was contrary to the children’s human rights.

The ruling judge in the latest case noted that the Upper Tribunal did not have the powers to challenge primary legislation about the definition of what makes a legitimate contractual arrangement between adults.

WAY supported the case, which  was originally brought by Hackney Community Law Centre. Further updates are pending on this legal challenge.

We recognise that this is very frustrating for unmarried couples without dependent children and we continue to campaign to make the Government’s bereavement policies fairer for everyone. Read more about the legal arguments here.

Presenter of the BBC Radio 4 show MoneyBox, Paul Lewis also wrote an insightful article about cohabiting couples’ rights.