Woman missed out on £45k payment after partner died due to ‘outdated’ law

A woman missed out on £45,000 due to an ‘outdated’ law after her partner died.

Alice Evans’ partner Daniel Sillwood died in his sleep eight years ago, according to the Mirror.

When someone passes away, their other half cannot claim bereavement payments if they were not married.

Alice, from Smalley in Derbyshire, thinks the law should be changed to allow partners to get the same financial help.

The 45-year-old blasted current legislation as ‘outdated’.

The Department of Work and Pensions introduced Bereavement Support Payments in April 2017 for new claimants.

Daniel was the family’s main breadwinner.

Since his death Alice has carried the burden of her household’s expenses alone.

DerbyshireLive reports she has been campaigning to change the law via her MP Nigel Mills

But she’s growing more frustrated now and has started a petition to change current statute so that people are eligible for support following their partner’s death despite not being married.

The family would have been paid approximately £45,000 (paid weekly) since 2014.

Alice adds she and Daniel’s 10-year-old daughter, Imogen, would have a better standard of life as a result, more closely aligned to the one she would have had were her father still alive.

She was two when her dad passed away aged just 35.

Alice Evans is campaigning for a change in the law and has launched a petition

But Alice adds that this is not just about money, as Daniel’s death, from pneumonia, meant the family lost a “very devoted father and partner”.

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She said: “I thought the world of Imogen would do anything for her. He would come home from his night shift and take her to nursery in the morning, then come back home in the evenings and cook meals. He was a family oriented person.”

Alice thinks the current law is not fit for purpose in 2022 as fewer people today decide to marry but still live in a family setting with people dependent on them.

She said: “We were living together as a man and a wife, we just never got married. Maybe we would have one day – we just didn’t get the opportunity.

“The payment would be around £120 a week. It’s unfair because I wasn’t married to him but still felt the benefit. The bereavement payment used to be called the ‘Widowed Parent Allowance’.

“I’m a widowed parent – I don’t see the relevance.

“When he passed away he was the breadwinner. We lost the wage that he brought in. I was left raising a child and running the household single handedly.

“Imogen would be able to live a life today that she would have if her father was alive.”

Alice added that she believes there are over 20,000 other people in the UK who are in a similar situation to her own who would be eligible for this benefit.

She has also lobbied Nigel Mills, for change and he has sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey, who says changes to the law are being made.

Mr Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley, said: “The remedial order goes through Parliament in two stages, taking 60 days each.

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“The first one was completed earlier this year, we’re waiting for the second one which will come when the consultation replies to the first have been considered.

“I’ve asked the Secretary of State for an update on the timetable but have not had a reply yet.

“The change is going to happen and the catch up payments will be made, it’s just a parliamentary process that needs completing, sadly that’s not always as quick as we’d all like.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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