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Children: Terminal Illnesses

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 139596, tabled on 30 April 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to support after the death of a terminally ill child parents who were not in work while caring for that child.

Answered on

8 May 2018

Any individual whose caring responsibilities cease because the person they are caring for has died, will receive an 8 week continuation of Carer’s Allowance, and where applicable a continuation of Income Support and any other benefit premiums that have been awarded as a result of the caring responsibility. There will also be an 8 week continuation of Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (where applicable) paid. The 8 week continuation of benefit is designed to allow an individual to make any arrangements and or claims to benefit to ensure that they are not placed in financial hardship. If an individual is claiming Universal Credit that would otherwise stop following a bereavement they will, in some circumstances, receive a Bereavement run-on of up to three months.

We will also make easements for mandatory work related requirements for a period following the death of a child where the claimant was the child’s parent.

Where entitlement to the current benefit ceases or a new claim is required, the Department for Work and Pensions will support the individual to make a claim to the appropriate benefit.

In addition, the Government recently announced the establishment of the Children’s Funeral Fund for England. Under this scheme, bereaved parents will no longer have to meet the costs of a burial or cremation. Bereaved parents on qualifying benefits may also receive a Funeral Expenses Payment to help towards the cost of a funeral. Interest-free Social Fund Budgeting Loans are also available for funeral costs.