Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe is campaigning to support families of unmarried couples who are being denied financial support following a bereavement, reports Diana Andreea Manduic
Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe is campaigning to end the ‘terrible injustice’ of families being denied financial support if a parent dies and the couple were unmarried.
An inquiry was completed by McCabe and other MPs into the Bereavement Support Payment which provides support for people who have lost their husband or wife.
This provides an initial payment of £3,500 and an additional £350 per month for up to 18 months for those who have children. The maximum amount of support received by those without children is £2,500 and a bonus of £100 per month.
The financial support is often used by people to support the costs of the funeral, rent or mortgage.
The benefit cannot be extended to those who are unmarried, according to the Government, but the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee made public its disagreement. The Committee affirmed that, although not married, these people are facing the same costs as a married couple.
Last year similar support was denied by the Government in the case of a woman whose partner died from cancer.
‘I have heard personally from my constituents about the impact of the Government’s refusal to pay bereavement benefits to those who were not married to their partner,’ stated McCabe.
The Selly Oak MP expressed his concern related to the issue by pointing out that after one year since the Supreme Court acted against this discrimination, the Government has not changed anything.
Frank Field MP, member of the Committee, affirmed that: ‘Cohabiting families have been waiting 14-months for the Government to make up their mind’ after the Supreme Court’s decision.
‘It must make it right, and urgently,’ continued Field.
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: ‘We are committed to supporting people during bereavement and with the introduction of Bereavement Support Payment in April 2017, have widened the support available.
‘This is in addition to help provided for cohabiting couples through the wider welfare system.’