On 6 April 2017 there was a significant change made to bereavement benefits by the Government that many missed, but which will have a significant impact.
Up until 6 April 2017 if you had children and suffered a bereavement you would have received support up until your youngest child reaches 20 and remains in full time education.
There was a one-off bereavement payment of £2000 to help funeral expenses and a Widowed Parents Allowance of £113.70 a week.
The maximum an individual with dependents could have received, based on the youngest child being one month old, was £119,338.40.
As of the 6 April 2017, the Government will now only offer support for a maximum of 18 months. The reason being is that State Benefits are only intended to cover the immediate costs and recent changes following a bereavement. Interestingly, Bereavement Support Payment depends on the national insurance contributions of your husband, wife or civil partner and not the survivor.
Using the same example as above, under the new system known as the Bereavement Support Payment, the maximum an individual with dependents could receive is £9,800. This figure includes the increased one-off bereavement payment of £3,500 and the £350 monthly allowance for 18 months.
This shows how important it is today to talk about Life Insurance. It is unlikely that many families can survive on this with only one income. It is also worth noting that if you were divorced, your civil partnership was dissolved, or you were living with someone else when your husband, wife or civil partner died, you would not be eligible for any Bereavement Support Payments.
Life Insurance can provide a regular income to help the survivor cope with the financial burden and provide for the children. It is a subject that none of us want to think about, but at some time we will need to and that time is going to be when we are least able to cope.
Figures quoted come from www.gov.uk, August 2017