by Leigh Rhodes - Compensation Advocacy and Support Officer
A new group of people can now qualify for bereavement support payments. Read on to see the detail of these changes.
BSP (Bereavement Support Payment), formerly WPA (Widowed Parents Allowance), is a payment administered by the Department for Work and Pensions which provides support to working-age people whose partner has died, helping with the immediate additional costs associated with bereavement. Those without children receive the standard rate of a lump sum of £2,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £100. Those with dependent children (or who are pregnant) receive a higher rate of a lump sum of £3,500 followed by up to 18 monthly payments of £350.
Until recently the benefits were only paid to those who were in a legal union (i.e. marriage or civil partnership) with the deceased. However, following 2 court cases, legislation governing the schemes has been amended to extend eligibility for WPA and the higher rate of BSP to surviving cohabiting partners with dependent children, who were not in a legal union with the deceased on the date of death. The amendment is retrospective and applies to eligible claimants who would have been entitled to WPA or the higher rate of BSP from 30 August 2018. Retrospective claims can be made until January 2024.
Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/bereavement-support-payment