Progress to date

Sue Ryder recently conducted UK wide polling of 2000 people to understand the impact of the cost of living crisis on bereaved people and will be sharing the findings of this in due course

Bereavement Statutory Payment must be extended to cohabiting partners

After a decade-long sector wide campaign, the eligibility rules for Bereavement Support Payment were changed on 9 February 2023 and surviving members of a cohabiting couple with children can now make a claim for support of almost £10,000. Child Bereavement Network is working with DWP and sector colleagues to disseminate information about how to make a claim: the window closes in February 2024 but at the end of the summer 2023, around 75% of eligible families were yet to claim.

Bereavement Support Payment extended to those whose partner was unable to make sufficient NI contributions due to sickness or disability

In Northern Ireland, a successful appeal tribunal resulted in the awarding of BSP to Mr O’Donnell following O’Donnell v Department of Communities (2020). Campaigns continue on this issue elsewhere in the UK.

Funeral Expenses Payment and Bereavement Statutory Payment extended to those with No Recourse to Public Funds

There has been no progress on this issue.

Financial support following a bereavement must be extended beyond current time limits

In April 2023, following a consultation on the new Scottish Carer’s Assistance, the Scottish Government published a commitment to extending Carer Support Payments from 8 to 12 weeks when a cared for person dies. A petition set up by WAY Widowed and Young member Rachel Viveash has reached over 10,000 signatures. The Government has responded and has not accepted this proposal.

Governments across the four UK nations must work to increase uptake of Pension credit

Following long term activity to highlight low Pension Credit uptake by UKCB steering group partner Independent Age, and the need for action, in Dec 2022 the UK Government announced £1.8 million of funding for Pension Credit awareness campaigns until the end of the financial year March 2023.

Funeral Expenses Payment must be extended to students

There has been no progress on this recommendation.

Legislation must require that landlords give at least 6 months' notice for an eviction after a bereavement.

The Renters’ Reform Bill which is going through parliament proposes to scrap Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in private tenancies. Marie Curie have briefed in probing amendments calling for: the removal of death of a tenant as a means for eviction, retention of the 12-month maximum period for commencing eviction proceedings, and for additional guidance for landlords supporting bereaved tenants, and have submitted written evidence from the Commission to the Bill.

Marie Curie is in conversations with the Chartered Institute of Housing around routes to improving protection for bereaved social tenants, who remain vulnerable to eviction within 28 days of a bereavement.