Gransnet forums


This could affect our grandkids, if they lose a parent

(11 Posts)
Bluecat Sun 26-Feb-17 12:25:59

Ever heard of the Widowed Parent's Allowance? No, me neither, but it is currently paid to a bereaved parent until their child leaves school. It offers a small measure of security to a parent and their kids who have undergone a terrible loss.

From April, it will be paid to a married parent for a total of 18 months. An unmarried parent who was cohabiting will get nothing at all.

If you have grandkids, they are at risk of being affected by this deplorable decision. No parent can say with absolute certainty that they will live till their kids are grown-up, so any of us with grandkids could see our child, or our SiL/DiL, in this situation. Not only does the change hit the most vulnerable who have suffered a terrible loss, it is so unfair. The WPA isn't charity. Most parents who die will have paid NI contributions but they have not lived to draw their pensions or to use the NHS in old age. Their dependants could, at least, get a small measure of financial help in return for their contributions.

If this concerns you, please go to the Child Bereavement website at to send a message to your MP. It is being debated by the draft committee on Monday 27th February and in Parliament on 2nd March.

Sorry if this is the wrong forum. Just thought it was an issue for grandparents.

Anniebach Sun 26-Feb-17 12:36:23

This is so cruel, when I was widowed our daughters were five and seven, I received widowed mothers allowance untill the youngest was sixteen, I was then given widows allowance untill sixty then was switched to OAP.

Cherrytree59 Sun 26-Feb-17 16:42:42

Sorry I can't get link on the pad
I will try again later as this would affect my daughter.
I agree very cruel it would be the children who would ultimately lose out through no fault of their own.
This I'd surely discrimination.

Cherrytree59 Sun 26-Feb-17 16:44:18

Sorry predictive text
Is not I'd

Welshwife Sun 26-Feb-17 17:09:57

I did not know there was this payment but can see the need for it on so many levels. Can I ask if it is given for each child and does it increase with the age of the child/children? In many homes the income would decrease substantially if it had been a two income family - the more I think about it the more unjust I see it is - it should be paid until the children cease education or some other form of benefit kicks in.

Bluecat Mon 06-Mar-17 11:48:21

The Conservative minister defended the cut by saying that it would help bereaved parents "adjust more quickly to life as single parents." What, by getting used to the idea of poverty? He said that the allowance was introduced at a time when women weren't wages earners and it wasn't appropriate now. It's a pathetic excuse. For a start, bereaved dads are entitled to it too and, whether it is a mother or a father who is left, it provides a little bit of financial help for children who have been bereaved. For example, there is a man who writes a weekly article in The Guardian about being a widowed dad, and the WPA has helped him change his job from one which required a lot of travelling to one which, though less well paid, allows him to be there for his kids. From April onwards, anyone who loses their partner will have this small safety net taken from them when they and their children are still coping with grief. (And if the Tories think you have recovered from such a loss after 18 months, they're kidding themselves!)

As for unmarried couple being ineligible, the minister said it might be upsetting for people to have to provide evidence that they lived together, at a time when they were grieving. Have you ever heard such a lame excuse? Well, the benefits system generally assumes that a man and a woman living together must be co-habiting, so maybe they could apply the same reasoning to people when they are bereaved!

At the moment, thank God, none of this affects my family. It could happen, though, at any time and any of us here could see our children and grandchildren affected by this decision - a decision which, it seems to me, hits people in a vulnerable situation. To be honest, I think it is despicable.

rosesarered Mon 06-Mar-17 11:55:18

I don't think it's a great deal of money though, and if you are married or unmarried/living together it shows the importance ( once you have children together) of having life insurance.It's amazing to me if people don't bother about this.What could be more important than having life insurance cover?We had this from day one virtually.

rosesarered Mon 06-Mar-17 11:56:08 is amazing to me if people don't bother.

felice Mon 06-Mar-17 12:20:57

X partner died suddenly just over a year ago, thye have a 15 and 13 year old, because they were not married he recieved did not recieve the widdowers allowance. Luckily she had worked for a couple of American companies when they lived here so had some insurance.
He is now struggling to make ends meet, partly his own fault as he has always depended on his partner to provide and works just part-time, but I feel for the children.

felice Mon 06-Mar-17 12:22:52

Meant to also say that she had never divorced her husband and it appears he could claim the allowance, I do not know if he did but knowing some of the background it would not surprise me.

felice Mon 06-Mar-17 12:24:26

Sorry for the spelling etc.