Minister urged to take action on Bereavement Discrimination

Laura Banks

11 March 2020

The issue of bereavement benefits has been the subject of a parliamentary discussion at Stormont this week. 

The Minister for Communities was told that there is widespread concern that the eligibility criteria still excludes cohabiting couples and that this has human rights implications in light of the Supreme Court ruling in Siobhan McLaughlin’s case. 

Concern was raised that Siobhan McLaughlin has still not heard how she will be compensated, 18 months after her case. 

The Minister was asked what steps she was discussing with the Department of Work and Pensions to amend the legislation and to assist Siobhan’s family and the many others in Northern Ireland in the meantime. 

The Minister said that she is liaising with the DWP to ensure that international human rights obligations are upheld and that she will roll out her intention in the coming weeks. 

We will await further developments with interest. 

For any bereavement benefits or social justice issue contact Laura Banks on 02890243901