A Martin Lewis fan has revealed how she got thousands in free cash after following one of his important tips. The pay-out comes after the Government made a major change to bereavement support payments.
The shake-up means that cohabiting parents with dependent children who need support following the death of their partner can now apply for backdated payments. Joanne Greenwood revealed how she managed to claim back £22,000 in backdated payments after the unexpected death of her partner in 2016.
The mother-of-two from Bradford told Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert (MSE): “I was going through my emails and almost deleted the MSE weekly email when I spotted the reader success about bereavement support. I clicked on the link and followed the guidance in the story to make a claim.
“I was told I was eligible, but I was totally shocked when £22,000 dropped into my bank account. I had to ring the DWP to make sure it was correct and not a mistake.”
Like tens of thousands of other families who have previously been denied payments, Joanne, 54, realised that she could now claim the money back - even though she wasn’t married to her late partner Darren. She added: “I had been with my partner Darren for 27 years, living as husband and wife in all but paper, and yet we weren’t eligible for the same support as those who were married or in a civil partnership.”
Darren passed away when his sons with Joanne were aged just 11 and 14. She said: “It was completely out of the blue. One morning he just didn’t wake up.
“We later discovered there had been underlying health problems that we weren’t aware of. It completely pulled the rug out from under all of us. I didn’t know if we’d be able to keep the house.
“Thankfully, my partner and I were prudent enough to have taken out life insurance which, after his death, helped pay for our mortgage and allowed me to work part-time while also taking care of the boys, but it was still very hard.”
What is a bereavement support payment?
More than 20,000 households affected by bereavement but previously denied support can also apply for backdated payments. To qualify for a payment, claimants must have met the eligibility criteria for either bereavement payment or widowed parent’s allowance on or after August 30, 2018.
This means those who lost their partner before April 6, 2017 might be able to receive the legacy benefit widowed parent’s allowance, should they be found to have been eligible for this on August 30, 2018. Similarly, a surviving parent who lost their partner on or after April 6, 2017, may be eligible for its replacement, bereavement support payment - should they have been qualified for this on August 30, 2018.
Households have until February 8, 2024, to submit any backdated claims. The exact amount of bereavement benefit you’ll be entitled to will depend on when they lost their partner and any other financial circumstances.
For example, the bereavement support payment is usually worth up to £3,500, plus £350 a month for 18 months.
How can I claim and apply for bereavement support payments?
You can apply for bereavement support payment online, by telephone or by post.
To apply, you’ll need:
- Your National Insurance number
- Your bank of building society account details
- The date your partner died
- Your partner’s National Insurance number
You can apply for the benefit over the phone by calling the bereavement service helpline on 0800 151 2012. To apply by post download the bereavement support payment BSP1 form from the Gov.uk website, fill it in and return it to the address on the form.