Changes to payments to those suffering from the death of a spouse or civil partner have been introduced.
Under the new support system, the widowed will receive:
- tax-free lump sum of £3,500 for people with children and £2,500 for those without
- a monthly tax-free payment to the surviving spouse or civil partner – £350 for those with children and £100 for those without – for 18 months.
The payment replaces the previous 3 tier system which included:
- bereavement payment – £2,000 lump-sum tax-free payment
- bereavement allowance – £112.55 per week for 1 year for those without children
- widowed parent’s allowance – £112.55 per week for those with children until they are no longer entitled to child benefit.
The payment is estimated to cut around £31,000 for the lowest income families and over £12,000 for the average working widowed parent.
Simon McCulloch, director at comparethemarket.com, said:
“The government is dealing a heavy blow to families at a time when they are already suffering profoundly.
“No one wants to think about the worst-case scenario, but the sad reality is that bereavement can be sudden and unexpected for families. Unfortunately, nothing will stop the pain of losing a loved one, but having financial security can at least help to take away one major worry.”
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