Grieving families and the Widowed Parent’s Allowance

On the 26 February 2017, the Mirror featured an article with the following headline: 

“Grieving families in financial difficulty could face further heartache under Government plans to slash “lifeline” payments”

The article describes how MPs are set to debate changes to the Widowed Parent’s Allowance payments, currently made until dependant children leave full-time education.

From 6th April, parents could receive just 18 months’ support.

Parents currently get a £2,000 tax-free lump sum then up to £112.55, taxable, weekly.

The proposed changes will see a £3,500 tax-free lump sum and then £350 paid monthly for 18 months.

The newspaper reported that CBN found the average claim lasted five to six years, so 75% of parents may lose up to £17,000.

The Childhood Bereavement Network warned of a “significant impact on grieving families”, adding: “It may force parents to increase working hours, before their children are ready for them to be less available.”

The paper reported the case of widowed and young charity’s Georgia Elms, who learned she was expecting her second child the day after her husband died, she said: “If I’d been given the allowance for 18 months, it would’ve stopped when my child was 10 months old. The hardship of losing your partner isn’t just over after 18 months.”

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