Government reveals intention to extend Bereavement Benefit to Cohabitees with Children

03 August 2020


We warmly welcome an announcement made by the Government in recent days that they intend to issue a Remedial Order to remove the incompatibilities from the legislation governing Widowed Parents Allowance and Bereavement Support Payment.

The Government has committed to effectively end the incompatibility in the legislation which excludes children of cohabiting parents, following our client Siobhan McLaughlin’s Supreme Court judgement which was issued in August 2018 and a subsequent case which confirmed the judgement applicable to Bereavement Support Payment.

The announcement has been welcomed in a statement issued by the Northern Irelands Human Rights Commission, Chief Commissioner Les Allamby.

Siobhan’s solicitor, Laura Banks commented: "The news that the government has signalled it’s intention to finally end discrimination and extend payments to cohabiting couples with children is warmly welcomed. However, further detail is essential and indeed, keenly awaited. This announcement has been made 6 years after our client instigated her legal challenge. Siobhan’s family and thousands like them across the UK will be anxious to hear important details such as timeframes as to when this is going to take effect and when they can expect payments.”

For any Social Justice query contact Laura Banks on 028 9024 3901 or email for a no obligation, confidential discussion.