THOUSANDS of bereaved families will be able to claim £ 10,000 in backdated benefits after a legal change in government policy.
The new rule, which was unveiled tonight, extends bereavement benefits to couples with children who live together but are not married.
Previously, only married parents could claim benefits.
However, activists defeated politics in the High Court and Supreme Court.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has now issued a “reparation order” which will grant benefits to grieving partners.
According to the Mirror, it is believed that 2,200 bereaved partners per year would benefit from the rule change.
Anyone who would have been eligible for the Supreme Court’s decision of August 30, 2018 will be able to file claims retrospectively for payments they have since received.
The reparation order will not become law until it has passed 120 sitting days in parliament, so grieving partners will not be able to claim their overdue debts until spring 2022 at the earliest.
The DWP estimates that 22,000 additional families will be helped over the next five years.
This change will only affect couples who lived with children and not those who did not have children or those who lived separately.
Charity, Widowed and Young (WAY) hailed the victory after years of campaigning for a rule change.
WAY originally requested that retrospective claims be extended until 2011, when the benefits were introduced.
Georgia Elms, an ambassador for WAY, told the Mirror: “We are really delighted that the government has finally done the right thing.
“It is unfortunate that it took so long for the government to respond to Supreme Court and High Court rulings in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
“Thousands of bereaved parents and their children have lost the much-needed financial support during this time. “
Mother of four Siobhan McLaughlin has won a major Supreme Court case after being denied the Widowed Parents Allowance because she was not married to the father of her children.
Siobhan’s partner John Adams died in 2014 after the couple lived together for 23 years.
When she found out that she was unable to claim the allowance, she challenged the rule in court.
Britons whose husband, partner or civil partner has died within the past 21 months are entitled to the bereavement support payment.
The first payment is set at two rates at £ 3,500 or £ 2,500 with monthly payments for 18 months and £ 350 or £ 100.
If you receive family allowances, you will benefit from the highest rate and if you do not receive family allowances, you will benefit from the lowest rate.
In order to receive the full amount, you must claim within the first three months of your partner’s death.