A change to entitlements for Bereavement Support Payments

20th June 2023

Woman wearing pink top speaking on the phone in front of computer monitor.

Chloe Pearson, Welfare & Benefits Manager at St Barnabas Hospice would like to make Lincolnshire-based people aware of a change made on 9th February 2023 to the government’s Bereavement Support Payments.

If you have/had dependent children and your partner, who you were living with as though you were married died on or after 6th April 2017, you may be entitled to claim backdated bereavement support payments.

Previously you could only claim when your partner died if you were legally married or in a registered civil partnership. The law now states you can claim if you ‘were living together as if you were married’.

Chloe says the criteria for this is as follows: “You must have been under State Pension age when your partner died, or under State Pension age on 30 August 2018.

“When your partner died, you must have been either getting (or been entitled to) Child Benefit or pregnant. You must meet the eligibility rules for Child Benefit, but you do not need to have made a claim for it.

“If your partner died before 6 April 2017, you may be able to get Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead.”

People who have not claimed the Bereavement Support payment and think they would be eligible can call the DWP bereavement service on 0800 151 2012 or visit the government’s website for more information and to apply online; www.gov.uk/bereavement-support-payment

Please note claims must be made before February 2024.

Chloe and her team at St Barnabas help support patients registered to a Lincolnshire GP who have life-limiting or terminal illness make claims for benefits and grants they may be entitled to. These conditions include any cancer diagnosis and conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Heart Failure, Motor Neuron Disease (MND), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and others.

In the financial year of 2022-23, the team received 5,323 referrals into the service and helped claim a total of £10 million worth of benefits and grants.

Chloe says: “We can give advice to patients and their families or carers on what benefits they could be potentially eligible for, and we also support with applications for grants, blue badges, bus passes and much more.

“We realise how important it is to have that financial support when you or your family have been diagnosed with a life-limiting or terminal illness. That is why making people aware of this change in law for bereavement support payments is important to us, as we want to ensure everyone claims what they are entitled to.”

If you are living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, are registered to a Lincolnshire GP and would like to explore what benefits you may be eligible for, you can call the Welfare & Benefits team on 01476 513544.

St Barnabas also offers free bereavement support through their Bereavement Helpline on 0300 303 1897, available 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday. The support is available to any adult who is registered with a Lincolnshire GP, and bereaved of an adult, not just those that have accessed Hospice care.

For more information about bereavement support, counselling and other types of wellbeing support from St Barnabas, visit: www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/wellbeing

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