WAY Chair on BBC Breakfast

January 2016

WAY's Chairman is on BBC Breakfast's sofa this morning at 7.20am talking about the lack of bereavement payments for unmarried parents.

The Child Bereavement Network estimates that every year, over 2,000 families face the double hit of one parent dying and the other parent realising that they and their children aren't eligible for bereavement payments because they weren't married.

If they had been in a civil partnership with their partner who died, they could claim Bereavement Payment and Widowed Parents' Allowance. That's the case even if they had been living together for many years and had children together...

Here is a statement from WAY's Chairman Georgia Elms, who lost her husband Jon to meningitis in 2006 when she was just 36 years old. She found out the next day that she was pregnant with her second child. She has been Chairman of WAY Widowed and Young for nearly five years:

“Since my husband died in 2006, I’ve been receiving Widowed Parents’ Allowance to help support my two daughters in the absence of my husband's income. This is based on the National Insurance contributions Jon paid as a marketing consultant. I am entitled to this support until my youngest daughter leaves full-time education. This money has been put towards the extra childcare costs since Jon died as well as basic living costs. These regular payments have been a lifeline to me and many other members of WAY Widowed and Young. It is so unfair that people who weren’t married at the time of their partner’s death are not entitled to receive this necessary help at a time when they need it most. That’s why we at WAY Widowed and Young are campaigning alongside other charities with the Child Bereavement Network to change this unfair policy.”

For more information on this topic, visit the Child Bereavement Network here...

WAY's Chair Georgia Elms on BBC Breakfast

Watch the video here...