Ridley & Hall supports reform of bereavement benefits
Friday 09 March 2012
In February 2012 the government published a consultation on reforming bereavement benefits. Bereavement benefits provide financial assistance for people after the loss of a spouse or civil partner. The complexity of the different payments available under the current system undermines their effectiveness. Solicitors For The Elderly estimate that around 80% of bereavement allowance recipients and 46% of widowed parents allowance recipients are not getting the maximum payment. It is difficult for people to anticipate what support they will receive.
The consultation is seeking views on proposals to simplify the payment system, by moving to a uniformed payment structure for all recipients with support focussed on the period immediately following bereavement. There are also proposals to rename the benefit so that it reflects the function of the payment and to simplify contribution conditions by basing full payment on a single year of national insurance contributions.
The consultation is published at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2011/bereavement-benefit.shtml
Ridley & Hall’s specialist adviser Susan Cash can help with any legal issues that arise in this often complicated area.