Windfall Alert: Potential Payments of Up to £10,000 Under New Rule Changes – Are You Eligible?

Time is Ticking: Seize the Opportunity for Up to £10,000 – Claim Before the Deadline!

A significant rule change has paved the way for potentially thousands of households to claim cash support of up to £10,000. The catch? Time is of the essence, with just a little over three months left until a crucial deadline looms. If eligible households fail to make their claims within this window, they risk missing out on this financial support.

Over 21,000 bereaved households, previously denied assistance, can now apply using a new online application form. This change specifically benefits cohabiting parents with dependent children, extending support previously reserved for married or civil partnership relationships. The alteration in the law enables those affected to claim bereavement benefits, but the clock is ticking.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) urges those eligible to make their claims promptly. DWP Minister Viscount Younger of Leckie emphasizes the importance of seizing the opportunity for backdated payments: "I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible to claim as soon as possible so that they can ensure that they benefit from these backdated payments."

The nature and value of the benefit depend on when the partner passed away. For deaths before April 6, 2017, it's the Widowed Parent's Allowance; for those after that date, it's the Bereavement Support Payment. The latter can be worth up to £3,500, with an additional £350 per month for 18 months for eligible recipients. Backdating extends as far as August 30, 2018, irrespective of the bereavement date.

The catalyst for this change traces back to a legal victory in the High Court and Supreme Court in August 2018. The government, acknowledging this shift, recently announced the possibility of backdated claims. However, the deadline for claiming stands at February 8, 2024. After this date, no claims for the Widowed Parent's Allowance will be accepted, and claims for the Bereavement Support Payment will incur a reduced amount.

To qualify for a payment, claimants must have met the eligibility criteria for either the Bereavement Support Payment or the Widowed Parent's Allowance on or after August 30, 2018. This opens up the opportunity for those who lost a partner before April 6, 2017, to potentially receive the legacy benefit of the Widowed Parent's Allowance, provided they met the eligibility criteria on August 30, 2018.

Navigating Bereavement Benefits: Your Guide to Eligibility and Application

For surviving parents who lost their partner on or after April 6, 2017, a potential lifeline exists in the form of bereavement support payment. Eligibility hinges on meeting the criteria on August 30, 2018. The timing of the loss is a crucial factor in determining the bereavement benefit and its corresponding amount.

Child benefit recipients stand to receive higher rates, but to secure the full amount, a claim must be initiated within the first three months following the partner's demise. Notably, if you are receiving bereavement support payment, it won't impact your other benefits for the initial year. Subsequently, the income derived from it will factor into means-tested benefits.

Application for bereavement support payment can be made online, by telephone, or via post. The government introduced its online claims form on a trial basis starting February 9, with a daily cap on the number of applications accepted. For those opting to apply over the phone, the bereavement service helpline is reachable at 0800 151 2012. Alternatively, the application can be submitted by post by downloading the BSP1 form from the government website, completing it, and sending it to the specified address.

It's crucial to act promptly, considering the approaching deadline of February 8, 2024. Beyond this date, claims for the Widowed Parent's Allowance will be closed, emphasizing the urgency for eligible individuals to navigate the application process within the stipulated timeframe.

Securing Support: A Timely Conclusion to the Bereavement Benefit Journey

As the deadline of February 8, 2024, approaches, the opportunity to claim vital bereavement benefits stands at a critical juncture. Surviving parents, who may be eligible for the Widowed Parent's Allowance or the Bereavement Support Payment, face a time-sensitive decision. The eligibility criteria, tied to the timing of the partner's loss, underscore the urgency for those potentially qualified to navigate the application process promptly.

For child benefit recipients, the chance to receive higher rates exists, contingent on initiating the claim within the initial three months following the partner's passing. Crucially, the impact on other benefits remains benign for the first year, offering financial respite during the immediate aftermath of bereavement.

With multiple avenues for application—online, telephone, or post—accessing this support has been streamlined. The government's introduction of the online claims form, albeit on a trial basis, and the helpline at 0800 151 2012 provide options for those seeking assistance. Applying by post involves downloading the BSP1 form, available on the government website, and submitting it to the specified address.

As this chapter in the bereavement benefit journey unfolds, the need for swift action is paramount. The impending deadline necessitates a proactive approach, ensuring that those eligible seize the opportunity for financial support during a challenging period. The conclusion of this process not only holds potential for financial relief but also signifies a step toward stability for those navigating the intricate landscape of bereavement benefits.