Governments Bereavement planned changes in April could leave future widowed parents in upheaval

Hearing the sad story of terminally ill Alan and Rachel on LBC (Saturday 1st April) left me cold and bewildered with the Governments plans to cut this significant benefit to bereaved husbands, wives and civil partners.

Alan is terminally ill, and if he were to pass away before the 6th April, his wife and children would receive £58,000 per year for the next 20 years or the maximum age at which his children would no longer qualify for child benefit, by which time the parent would lose the bereavement allowance.

Now the terrifying reality for him and his family is that holding on to the precious moments of life will leave them with a £50,000 loss of earnings that he has paid his tax, national insurance and state pension into during his working life to ensure their financial security.

Parents who are widowed with young children in the future could miss out on 1,000’s when the Governments Bereavement scheme is implemented on 6th April 2017.

Losing your loved one is always a painful experience, as it currently stands, if your wife, husband or civil partner has died then you may be entitled to a tax-free, lump sum payment of £2,000. Plus, you may also be able to claim an allowance of up to £112.55 per week.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Minster for Welfare Delivery

Caroline Nokes said “a simple, uniform and easy-to-understand benefit that better reflects society”.

Although some will receive more money as a result of the change, many others will end up with far less than they would have received under the old scheme.

If you are currently claiming from the existing plan, you will not be affected by these changes. The impact will be felt by those who lose their spouse or civil partner after 6th April 2017.

For more information check out the Government site on how to claim bereavement support

The Government should reflect on this change, as we may well be hearing more heartfelt reaching stories of families in despair at a time of extreme sadness.

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