Last week, MPs voted to change the eligibility criteria for bereavement benefits. Currently, around 1,800 parents a year miss out on bereavement benefit payments because they were living with - but not married to or in a civil partnership with - their partner when they died. The new Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2022 will allow these families to access financial support, currently worth £9,800. It also means that around 21,000 families who have previously been denied support will be able to apply for retrospective payments. This change is absolutely vital – last year, for the first time ever, more babies were born in the UK to parents who were not married or in a civil partnership.
The Childhood Bereavement Network, led by Alison Penny, has been coordinating this campaign tirelessly since 2011. More information about the change to the eligibility criteria for bereavement benefits can be found here.