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Bereavement Support Payment

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL8590, tabled on 13 June 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government why cohabiting couples with young children are not eligible for Bereavement Support Payments.

Answered on

25 June 2018

Bereavement Support Payment is paid to, and for the benefit of, a surviving spouse or civil partner. Entitlement does not depend on whether or not the deceased had children.

Marriage and civil partnerships are legal contracts that are associated with certain rights, including inheritance, recognition in the tax system and entitlement to certain benefits.

A key principle of the National Insurance system is that all rights to benefits derived from another person’s contributions are based on the concept of legal marriage or civil partnership.

Moreover, proving that cohabitation existed could be a complex process likely to cause distress at a time of bereavement.

However, cohabitees do have access to income-related benefits. They may also qualify for help with funeral costs from the Social Fund and may of course choose to provide security for their families by way of private pension or life insurance arrangements.