DWP warning for 12,000 families that could be due up to £9,800 as deadline falls today | Personal Finance | Finance

Britons are urged to check if they have been eligible for the DWP’s Bereavement Support Payment or Widowed Parents Allowance as the deadline to backdate claims falls today.

The payments are aimed at bereaved parents who lost their partner between April 9, 2001, and 8 February 2023, and thousands more families may be eligible.

A Freedom of Information request from BBC Radio 4’s Money Box found that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates around 17,000 widowed parents qualify for bereavement support payments.

However, only around 5,000 individuals have applied to date, leaving approximately £175million waiting to be claimed.

The deadline to backdate claims is February 8, 2024. After this date, parents who claim will not get their full entitlement to backdated payments.

The amount paid to eligible people depends on the relationship the person had with the person who died; when the claim is made; and when the claimant reaches state pension age.

Couples who were living together as if they were married when one partner died could get as much as £3,500 as a one-off payment or 18 monthly payments of £350.

For backdated payments, people may be able to get both the one-off payment and up to 18 monthly payments, which totals up to £9,800 – if their partner died on or after August 30 2018.

If a person’s partner died before August 30, 2018, they cannot get the one-off payment but you may still get up to 18 monthly payments.

To qualify, claimants must have met the eligibility criteria for either Bereavement Support Payment or Widowed Parent’s Allowance on or after August 30, 2018.

This means those who lost their partner before April 6, 2017, might be able to receive the legacy benefit Widowed Parent’s Allowance, should they be found to have been eligible for this on August 30, 2018.

Similarly, a surviving parent who lost their partner on or after April 6, 2017, may be eligible for its replacement, Bereavement Support Payment, should they have been qualified for this on August 30, 2018.

Widowed Parents Allowance (WPA) can only be claimed via postal forms or over the phone. The deadline for the DWP to receive post is today (February 8), so those who are eligible for WPA and haven’t yet claimed are advised to ring the bereavement service helpline instead.

Bereavement Support Payments can be claimed online or via the phone and the deadline for this is also today.

People can reach the helpline on 0800 151 2012.

Alison Penny MBE, director of the Childhood Bereavement Network said: “It has been very moving to hear stories from parents who have received a backdated payment after years of being unable to access this lifeline benefit for them and their children.

“We think there are many others out there who could be in line for a payment.

“We encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to look into this and seek specialist welfare benefits advice if they are in any doubt about the effects that a back payment could have on their wider tax and social security entitlements.”

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