Cohabiting bereaved parents eligible for financial support

Cruse Bereavement Support is delighted that from 9 Feb 2023, parents and carers whose cohabiting partner dies leaving them bringing up dependent children can claim bereavement benefits worth thousands.

February 13, 2023

Following a long campaign, the Government has finally extended eligibility to higher rate Bereavement Support Payment to parents and carers under State Pension age whose cohabiting partner dies leaving them bringing up dependent children. Formerly, these lifeline benefits, currently worth £9,800, were only paid to surviving parents who were married to or in a civil partnership with their partner.

Unusually, this change is also retrospective so around 21,000 families, some bereaved as long ago as 2001, stand to be eligible for back payments going back to 30 August 2018. They will have a 12-month window in which to make a retrospective claim and get the full amount they are entitled to. If in doubt of the implications of retrospective payments on their wider tax, tax credits and benefits position, families should get benefits advice before putting in a claim.

Please spread the word to help #Findthe21k grieving families who could benefit from this change.

Website for claiming



"This is a significant victory for bereavement campaigners, and big thanks go to the Childhood Bereavement Network, WAY and the Child Poverty Action Group as well as those bereaved parents who fought for their rights in court."

Steven Wibberley, Cruse Chief Executive

“After such a long campaign, it is almost incredible that we are finally at the stage of cohabiting families being able to claim this benefit. They will no longer face the double blow of being refused financial support following the death of their mum or dad, simply because they weren’t married. We are pleased too that over 20,000 families bereaved as far back as 2001 who were previously denied these benefits will be eligible for back payments to 30 August 2018. As a society, it’s vital that we support ALL bereaved children, whatever their circumstances.”

Alison Penny , Director CBN