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Bereavement Support Payment

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johnjosef
johnjosef Community member Posts: 12 Connected
Hi
My son's girlfriend passed away yesterday, she was only in her early 20's. She was on disability benefits through UC and received pip, my son was her carer and they got a young daughter. My question is, is he entitled to Bereavement Support Payment?
This is the statement that confuses me

 Your husband, wife or civil partner must have either: paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year

 as she was un UC would they not have paid the national insurance contribution, and therefore he is entitled to the Bereavement Support Payment? What other help of payments could he apply for? His finances are going to be a real mess at the moment as she was the main claimant.
Thanks

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  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2022
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    If they were boyfriend/girlfriend then there is no entitlement to BSP regardless of any NI. To get BSP they have to have been married or in a civil partnership. The rules are being changed to include parents who are not married or civil partners but I don’t think there is date for this.
    https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/legal-test-cases/bereavement-support-payments-unmarried-parents

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cohabiting-couples-to-benefit-from-changes-to-bereavement-benefit-rules

    I think in Scotland the survivor of an unmarried couple may already be able to claim.

    NI credits from UC would not meet the NI contribution requirement. However there is some legal uncertainty about whether or not the NI contribution is legal for those who have never been able to work due to ill health. In Northern Ireland I think the NI contribution requirement is already waived in cases when nobody has never been able to work.

    If they were living together they would have had to claim as a couple and your son is therefore already a UC claimant. He will need to report the death to UC. If UC was being paid to a bank account in her name only he needs to get the payments switched to a bank account in his account.

    The UC will continue as if she were still alive for this UC assessment period and for the next three periods. After that the claim will be switched to a single person claim. He is exempt from any work search requirements for six months from the date of death.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Community member Posts: 12 Connected
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    calcotti said:
    If they were boyfriend/girlfriend then there is no entitlement to BSP regardless of any NI. To get BSP they have to have been married or in a civil partnership. The rules are being changed to include parents who are not married or civil partners it I don’t think there is date for this.

    However NI credits from UC would not meet the NI contribution requirement.

    If they were living together they would have had to claim as a couple and your son is therefore already a UC claimant. He will need to report the death to UC. If UC was being paid to a bank account in her name only he needs to get the payments switched to a bank account in his account.

    The UC will continue as if she were still alive for this UC assessment period and for the next three periods. After that the claim will be switched to a single person claim.
    Define civil partnership please, as they were living together they classes themselves as civil partnership, re UC claim she was claiming couple allowance and carer allowance for him, just like my wife is for me, so the main claim was in her name just like ours is, I just wanted to make sure it want just stop.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2022
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    Civil partnership is a legal relationship registered with the state as an alternative to marriage. It is not something that is just how people think of themselves.

    UC is different to old benefits. There isn’t one claimant with an add on partner, for UC both are claimants. The UC is not in her name, they were both claiming in their own names but the claims are linked. He will have his own online journal through which he communicates with UC (unless for some reason they were unable to make a digital claim).

    (Note that I’ve edited some bits of my original rely since you quoted it.)
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Here’s a link re legality of the NI requirements for those never able to work due to disability
    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/17121/#82096
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • durhamjaide2001
    durhamjaide2001 Community Co-Production Group, Scope Member Posts: 11,128 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm sorry to hear that your son's girlfriend passed away especially on Christmas Day. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2022
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    Have just been made aware (through another thread) of this High Court ruling regarding the lawfulness of the NI contributions requirement in the cases of a deceased person has never been able to work.
    https://equalitylawblog.com/2022/11/18/r-jwanczuk-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions/

    it appears that DWP may be able to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

    I think his best course of action may be to apply for BSP. He will almost certainly be refused. He can then request a Mandatory Reconsideration which will likely also be refused. He can then appeal to the tribunal service and the case will be held until the law is clarified. (Unfortunately this obviously isn't going to provide any help in the short term.)


    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2022
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    Just adding to previous post - he may want to get help from a welfare benefits advice agency to help given this is currently legally fluid.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Community member Posts: 12 Connected
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    calcotti said:
    Have just been made aware (through another thread) of this High Court ruling regarding the lawfulness of the NI contributions requirement in the cases of a deceased person has never been able to work.
    https://equalitylawblog.com/2022/11/18/r-jwanczuk-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions/

    it appears that DWP may be able to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

    I think his best course of action may be to apply for BSP. He will almost certainly be refused. He can then request a Mandatory Reconsideration which will likely also be refused. He can then appeal to the tribunal service and the case will be held until the law is clarified. (Unfortunately this obviously isn't going to provide any help in the short term.)


    I know it has been a while since you last answered but we are waiting for law changes to go through regarding just living together, but universal credit automatically pay ni credits and it says There are two types of credits: Class 3 credits count towards your State Pension and bereavement benefits which class 3 credits are being paid, so do you know why it is excluded then?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2023
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    johnjosef said: I know it has been a while since you last answered but we are waiting for law changes to go through regarding just living together, but universal credit automatically pay ni credits and it says There are two types of credits: Class 3 credits count towards your State Pension and bereavement benefits which class 3 credits are being paid, so do you know why it is excluded then?
    Class 3 credits only count towards State Pension and nothing else.
    For BSP the requirement is taht the deceased must have paid NI contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year since 6 April 1975. Even Class 1 credits earned for example contribution based ESA would not meet this test because credits are not contributions. The requirement means that the deceased must have worked for at least 25 weeks - which is where the discrimination issue arises in the case of someone who has never been able to work. 

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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