Martin Lewis issues warning to parents to check if you could be owed thousands of pounds
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Featured Image Credit: ITV / Photography taken by Mario Gutiérrez/Getty Images
If you've sadly lost a partner then it's important to know support is out there if needed.
Losing a loved one is not only a devastating event emotionally but it can also be an incredibly difficult time financially too.
Lewis has alerted bereaved parents to see if they can claim benefits which could be worth tens of thousands of pounds after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) changed the eligibility rules for Bereavement Support Payments and Widowed Parent’s Allowance earlier this year.
Such benefits were previously only available to those who were married or in civil partnerships but now couples who live together and have children together are also eligible.
The financial guru notified Brits that if their partner died between April 9, 2001 and April 5, 2017, then they could make a claim for a backdated Widowed Parent's Allowance.
Equally, if your partner died between April 6, 2017, and February 8, 2023, then you may instead be eligible to backdate a claim for Bereavement Support Payments designed to help reduce the financial impact of losing a partner.
However, the deadline for applying for the claim is just a couple months away (8 February).
If the claim is made after this date, you may not receive the full amount of payments owed
Explaining the situation on his ITV programme, Martin Lewis Money Show Live, Lewis said: "This is urgent and it’s for people whose partner has died since 2001.
"In February 2023, the court ruled that unmarried couples are due bereavement help as well - yet, backdated claims must be made by February 8, next year. It is not long away, it is urgent because this is not simple."
He highlighted that unmarried couples are only eligible for the backdated payments if they had children, and were also under the state pension age when their partner passed away.
"What I mean by that is, you have to be eligible for Child Benefit - so that’s a child under 16, or a child under 20, in full-time education - at the time of your partner’s death," the money maestro continued.
He went on: "You don’t have to be claiming it, so if you’re a higher rate taxpayer, that doesn’t matter. You have to be eligible for it.
"This is for people under state pension age when their partner died, and when their partner died, you must have been married - not for backdated claims, but for claims now - and that includes civil partnership… or cohabiting and living as married
"So if you separated from your partner, even if you had children when they died, I’m afraid you don’t count. If you’re unmarried, you must have been under state pension age on August 30, 2018."
You can find out more about bereavement support payments here.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677