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Widowed Parent’s Allowance: How To Make a New Claim

By IntFormalities
Published on October 4, 2023
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Over time, certain benefits become phased out and replaced with new, updated schemes. It is often done to improve the system or reflect societal changes. One benefit no longer around is the Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA), the payment someone may receive if their partner dies. As of April 2017, WPA became replaced by the Bereavement Support Payment. However, it is still possible to apply for the Widowed Parent’s Allowance in some instances. Keep reading to find out if you qualify and how to make your claim.

Although the Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA) has been replaced, you can still make a claim if your partner died on or before 5 April 2017.
Although the Widowed Parents Allowance WPA has been replaced you can still make a claim if your partner died on or before 5 April 2017

Who Can Receive the Widowed Parent’s Allowance?

To receive Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA), you must already be a benefitary. You will continue to be paid until the claimant no longer qualifies.

New claims can still be made but only if a person’s partner died on or before 5 April 2017. At the time of the death, the applicant and the partner must have been involved in the relationship through the following:

  • Civil partnership
  • Marriage
  • Cohabitation

The person must have been declared dead recently, along with the confirmation of the cause of the death.

Eligibility Requirements

Additionally, to receive the WPA, all of the following must be met:

  • You must be under State Pension age
  • You are eligible for Child Benefit for at least one of your children
  • Your partner must have made National Insurance contributions or passed away as a result of an accident at the workplace or a disease brought about by work

A claimant could also claim the Widowed Parent’s Allowance if they were pregnant at the time of their partner’s death. 

When Is It Not Possible To Claim The Widowed Parent’s Allowance?

A claim for the Widowed Parent’s Allowance cannot be made if the applicant:

  • Was divorced and no longer cohabiting with the partner at the time of death
  • Has remarried, entered a new civil partnership, or is living with a new partner in a similar manner to a marriage or civil partnership
  • Is in prison

If the applicant was over the State pension age at the time of their partner’s death, they may be able to receive the State Pension entitlement for widows

Payment Rates

How much are Widowed Parent’s Allowance payments? This would depend on the National Insurance contributions made by the partner. The maximum amount available through the Widowed Parent’s Allowance is £139.10 per week. 

If the partner died due to an accident in the workplace (for example, an industrial accident) or a disease acquired through work, it is still possible to claim WPA even if the partner made no NI contributions. 

WPA is paid into the claimant’s bank or building society account, like all benefits. 

Widow Parents Allowance is paid until the applicant reaches State Pension age or stops receiving Child Benefit.

Retrospective Payments

If the applicant cohabited with their partner but was not in a civil partnership or marriage, they may be due a backdated payment (often referred to as a “retrospective payment“). Qualifying applicants must have been eligible for WPA after 29 August 2018. Claims must be made by 8 February 2024 to receive a backdated payment.  

How To Apply for the Widowed Parent’s Allowance

Those applicants living in Scotland, Wales, and England will need to download and complete one of the following to apply:

  • Form BB1 (if the applicant and the partner were in a civil partnership or married at the time of death)
  • Form BB2 (if the applicant and the partner were not in a civil partnership or marriage but were cohabitating)

It is not possible to apply online, the completed application form needs to be sent to this address:

Dover Benefit Centre, 

Post Handling Site B, 

Wolverhampton,

West Midlands, 

WV99 1LA,

United Kingdom.

Alternative application packs are available in large print, braille, or audio CD formats. Call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 1512012 to receive one of these application packs. The telephone lines are open 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. 

Documentation Required and the Processing Times

As part of the application, the claimant must provide personal details of themselves, their partner, and their children. When the application is submitted, the following documents must be attached:

If the application form is filled in correctly and all the required documents are attached, you can expect to receive a decision within a few weeks.

Northern Ireland Residents and Overseas Claimants

Download the claim form through this link and send it to the address on the application form. You can have an application pack sent by post, telephone Northern Ireland Bereavement Service on 08000852463, and press 3 to choose the postal option.

If the applicant has moved abroad, obtaining the entitlement for widows is still possible. For more details, check out this UK government website.

Changes of Circumstances

For people living in Scotland, Wales, and England, Dover Benefit Centre in Wolverhampton must be informed of any changes in circumstances. Changes will include a new marriage or civil partnership, cohabitating with a new partner and relationship is like a civil partnership or marriage, or if the child benefit entitlement stops. For the contact details, click this link. 

Could You Lose Your Right To Receive Other Benefits?

Once a person receives the Widowed Parent’s Allowance, the payment rates of other benefits claimed may change. Some of the benefits that could be affected are:

It would be best to inform the government department dealing with the particular benefit immediately. Otherwise, it could lead to the wrong amount being paid, which may result in repaying any overpayments or even facing a fine!

Getting Financial Assistance After the Death of A Partner

If a partner dies, it may be possible to obtain payments in the form of Bereavement Support. However, applicants may also be eligible to apply for the Widowed Parent’s Allowance if the death took place before 6 April 2017 and the passing away has only been declared recently.

The demise of a loved one is always a tragedy. Though financial remuneration does not compensate for the situation, hopefully, these payments will ensure the claimant and their children can ease the cost of living and other everyday expenses.   

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