16th January 2017
An updated bereavement support payment will be introduced from 6 April 2017 for those suffering the death of a spouse or civil partner.
The current 3-tier system of bereavement payment, allowance and widowed parent’s allowance will be replaced by the new bereavement support payment.
People at any age up to state pension age can access the allowance, and will receive extended support from 12-18 months.
Payment received will be exempt from tax, subject to a disregard in the calculation of means-tested benefits.
The support payment will include:
- a lump sum of £3,500 for people with children and £2,500 for those without
- 18 monthly instalments to the surviving spouse or civil partner - £350 for those with children and £100 for those without.
Caroline Nokes, minister for welfare delivery, said:
“The old system could be unfair, complex and also act as trap preventing people from moving on with their lives. That’s why we are modernising this support into a simple, uniform and easy-to-understand benefit that better reflects society and helps people through what can be a very difficult time.”
Stephen Crosbie, protection director at Aegon, said:
“People should be looking to make arrangements beyond the bereavement support payment, as it is unlikely to provide the financial support needed to maintain their current standard of living should they lose the income from the main breadwinner in the household.”
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