Sue Ryder has commented on extending bereavement benefits to unmarried partners with children, to help broaden access to these crucial bereavement benefits and make the process itself more flexible for bereaved families in need of this financial support.
Bereavement benefits are financial lifelines to bereaved families. Sue Ryder has long called on the Government to better support those who have been bereaved, in particular to widen access to bereavement benefits and to make the process more flexible.
Two months ago, the High Court ruled that current law, with eligibility based on marital status, was "incompatible" with human rights. Campaigners are expecting the Government to now issue a Remedial Order extending entitlement to widowed parent’s allowance and bereavement support payment to cohabiting couples with children.
It is important that these changes are enacted as soon as possible, so that thousands more families do not miss out on bereavement benefits during the coronavirus crisis.
Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said:
“Sue Ryder welcomes the announcement that unmarried partners with children can access the same bereavement benefits as married partners with children.
“We must do all that we can to support people who are grieving and this is a really positive move.
"Next steps for the Government should include an extension to the deadline within which people must apply for the benefit from three months to two years, or alternatively finding a way to ensure it is paid automatically without having to apply.
“The first three months of grief can be a very difficult period, applying for benefits during that time can often feel like an impossible task."
You can read our full submission to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry below.