legislation changes to cohabitating couples

Bereavement Support Payments extended to cohabiting parents

| Published on March 16, 2023

By Hayley Coyne, Chartered Legal Executive

From 9th February 2023 the Government extended the eligibility criteria for Bereavement Support Payments and Widowed Parents Allowance to unmarried cohabiting parents. This means that thousands of parents will now be able to access financial support following the death of their unmarried partner, a benefit that they would not have previously had.

The updated legislation is a big change to narrowing the gap between cohabiting and married couples and the inequality that this brings to not only the couples themselves but to their children. DWP Minister Viscount Younger of Leckie said “it has been our priority to get this legislation right, so it is fairer to bereaved children with parents who were not married or in a civil partnership and, I am very pleased this is now law”.

The law is also seeking to apply retrospectively to those whose partners died before the 9th February 2023. The amount entitled to will however depend on when the death was.

An application for Bereavement Support Payments and Widowed Parents Allowance can be made online via, over the phone or through a paper application. Go to the government website for more information at

How we can help

If you have any queries concerning the rights of cohabiting couples, please contact one of our offices and ask to speak to a family lawyer.

Our expert solicitors can guide you through the process and empower you to make informed and legally valid decisions.

For further information, please contact Hayley Coyne in our family team on 01460 279100 or email Humphries Kirk LLP has offices in Parkstone, Poole, Southbourne, Wareham, Swanage, Cranborne Chase, Crewkerne and Dorchester.



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