Bereavement Support Payment - Minister calling for an evaluation

Has anyone seen that the Department of Work and Pensions Minister has called for Bereavement Support Payment to be evaluated? This is following a Select Committee inquiry into the benefit - some of you may remember from previous posts that Sue Ryder gave evidence to the inquiry and made recommendations for improving the benefit.

We are now urging the Minister to complete the evaluation as soon as possible. Read more about our recommendations and response to the Minister: https://www.sueryder.org/news/response-to-inquiry-bereavement-support-payment

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When my husband died I had no idea about this pension, really because I knew no one who had recently lost their husband. The DWP made application etc very simple and for that I am thankful. Having read Sue Ryder’s comments for the review I wholeheartedly support them. I’m not lucky - I’ve lost my husband far, far too soon but I’m lucky that on top of this hell, financial matters are not too much of a concern. For many they will be and this must be reflected in the bereavement support payment. Well done Sue Ryder.

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Hi Cristal, it is good to know that you were able to claim easily and thanks for your words of support about our recommendations.

This is so good to here … it’s been a year now for me so my bereavement payment will stop after Christmas and me and my two young children are struggling so much financially… we had no insurance no savings and I have been left in so much debts from funerals etc … it’s hAving such an affect on my health . Stress anxiety hair loss even … at 37 with two small children I never thought I would end up like this x

Hi Michelle, I am very sad to hear that you have been left in such a difficult financial situation, that sounds incredibly stressful. You could try contacting Step Change (https://www.stepchange.org/) for free advice on managing your debt and Turn2Us (https://www.turn2us.org.uk/) for information on benefits and grants.

I got a letter yesterday enquiring why I haven’t claimed a Bereavement Support Payment? I knew nothing about this benefit at all so I rang the DWP and spoke to a lovely lady who was so helpful. She informed me that he registrar should have told me about this when registering my wife’s death? Anyway it transpires after answering a few questions and tendering my wife’s details I am entitled to it although I may have missed out on my full entitlement due to not claiming earlier? People really need to be informed about this when suffering the loss of a loved one. To some in difficult financial circumstances it could be invaluable.

Hi Davos,

I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get the full amount because you weren’t made aware of the benefit in time. One of our recommendations to the government was that the deadline for applying be extended from three months to two years, or find a way to make sure it is paid automatically without having to apply.

Has there been any update on this x

The successful ruling on this case is yet to result in changes to the current rules that bar those affected from claiming BSA.
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-6114897/Unmarried-widows-widowers-entitled-bereavement-benefits-court-ruling.html

Just an update from my perspective.
So I received a Bereavement Support Payment inti my bank account on Monday in the form of a lump sum and a separate payment which I assume is going to be my monthly entitlement? When I spoke to the DWP a few weeks ago I was told that would hear in writing as to my eligibility for the benefit before ant payment is credited to me. Bit odd I have received a quite substantial amount but no letter of explanation although it may be on its way in the post. As previously stated the DWP were really helpful ( I know they sometimes get a bad press) and I was informed my entitlement may be reduced as I should really have claimed after my wife’s death in February although I didn’t become aware of such a benefit until I was the recipient of a reminder from the DWP to claim at the beginning of August. I think there is a standard and a higher rate of BSP and it looks like I have been the beneficiary of the higher rate despite contradictory advice from the DWP. I have to say the benefit is most welcome as I have taken quite a significant financial hit due to my wife’s passing. Just wish with all my heart that I wasn’t in a position to claim it. Good luck and very best wishes to anyone in similar circumstances.

Yes, it’s paid monthly for 18 months. It’s tax free so won’t affect your tax code. If you have no other or low income it’s worth checking out if you can claim anything else to top BSA.

Sorry, didn’t get all your info. You will only get the payment until Sep next year, 18 months from the date your wife passed away. The lump sum increase from £2k to £2,500 in April 2016 for single widowed claimants. They also decreased the weekly benefit paid, around £130 per week but extended period paid from 12months to 18.
Let’s hope this limited of 3 months to claim and have it backdated is scrapped.

It’s an absolute disgrace that they have changed it for widows with children it was paid until the youngest child reached sixteen now it’s only 18 months … my babies are 5 years old I have Graves’ disease … so I can’t work but I’m not entitled to any disability or sickness benefit because my condition is not recognised… and my bereavement payment stops in January … so I’m left on universal credit which I can barely survive on and I’m getting into debt … there’s no other help or benefits full stop … so after my husband died at 36 years old last year I’m left a widowed single mum struggling to get by … yet drug dealers and alcoholics get a free ride … I worked all my life never claimed a penny till my husband died … so angry

There was some very brave ladies who told the Select Committee their stories so similar to yours Michelle. I watched the link to the hearing and one cannot do anything but hope their evidence of the impact of such dreadful changes to the system which you correctly say would have supported you and your children until they left full time education, results in a kinder more supportive approach. It was said it was not linked to saving money, I read the report where it showed what changes could be done and it most certainly did include saving money. I so hope you get support via UC to explore what you can do that fits in with family life and something positive results. Please do PM if you need advice on claim process and conditionality.

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