Category: National Children's Bureau

Posted on 04.05.2023

Thanks to a campaign by the Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN), part of the National Children’s Bureau, cohabiting parents and carers will now be able to claim the same bereavement benefits to help bring up their children as if they had been married or in a civil partnership.

It’s estimated around 1,800 grieving families each year will now be entitled to receive support currently worth £9,800, which was previously denied to them because the parents weren’t married or in a civil partnership.  A further 21,000 families could also be eligible for a retrospective payment worth thousands, following the 12-year campaign spearheaded by CBN.

The ruling by both the Supreme Court and High Court found that denying financial support to surviving parents was incompatible with the human rights of their children, based on their parent’s marital status.

Alison Penny MBE, CBN Director said:

“After such a long campaign, it is incredible that we are finally at the stage of cohabiting families being able to claim this benefit. They will no longer face the double blow of being refused financial support following the death of their mum or dad, simply because their parents weren’t married.  As a society, it’s vital that we support ALL bereaved children, whatever their circumstances.”

This is an example of how the National Children’s Bureau is improving the experience of childhood in the UK – by influencing policy, improving practice, and involving children and young people to help drive their work.


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