Urgent: Deadline for retrospective bereavement benefits

January 2024

The clock is ticking down to the 8 February 2024 deadline for cohabiting parents to claim retrospective bereavement benefits after a long-running campaign that extended the support to cohabiting couples last year.

Until February 2023, the Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Support Payments were only available to people who were married or in a civil partnership when their loved one died. However, following a decade-long campaign by WAY Widowed and Young, the Childhood Bereavement Network, the Child Poverty Action Group and a coalition of other bereavement charities, the government finally changed the legislation last February so that cohabiting parents were entitled to the same support.

An estimated 21,000 cohabiting parents bereaved as long ago as 2001 were entitled to claim for the retrospective payments they and their children would have received if they had been in a legal union at the time of their partner’s death. However, they were only given a year to submit their applications to receive their full entitlement – and the deadline is approaching at midnight on 8 February 2024.

Please share this story and our social media posts to help us to get the word out to families who may be eligible for this support before it’s too late.

“It would be heartbreaking if bereaved families found out about this support, potentially worth several thousand pounds, after the deadline has passed,” said WAY’s Communications Manager Vicky Anning. “Many of our members have successfully applied for the retrospective payments and one of our members recently told us that she had been able to take their child on holiday for the first time in ten years as a result of the payment.”

WAY Ambassador Sophie shared her story with BBC news in the East of England recently to explain how the funds have helped her. Read her story here

Please share this news story to help get the word out to as many bereaved families as possible before the deadline passes.

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