The law changed on 9 February 2023, and now parents and carers who aren’t married or in a civil partnership, but who live together and have dependent children can make new claims for Bereavement Support Payment if their partner dies.
However, if you’re already bereaved and you were living with your partner before they died, you can make a backdated claim for bereavement benefits if you were eligible to do so on or after 30 August 2018.
You’re eligible for bereavement benefits if you were married, cohabiting or in a civil partnership when your partner died, and were pregnant or caring for children who were either under 18 or over 18 and in full time non-advanced education. Non-advanced education includes school, college, or approved training, but not university.
Which benefit you claim depends on when your partner died.
- If your partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you can make a claim for Bereavement Support Payment.
- If your partner died before 6 April 2017 you may be able to make a claim for Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead.
- You will have until 8 February 2024 to make a claim.
If you’re getting other means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit and are entitled to a lump sum back payment, it won’t count towards the savings limits that affect how much benefit you’re entitled to for 52 weeks.
You can claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance if your cohabiting partner died before 6 April 2017 by phone or with a postal form available on the GOV.UK siteOpens in a new window
If your partner died on 6 April 2017 or later you can claim Bereavement Support Payment online, by phone or with a postal formOpens in a new window