A decision of the Supreme Court announced today has important implications for unmarried partners of people who have died.

The case involved a woman from Northern Ireland who was denied Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) after her partner of 23 years passed away. WPA is available to those whose husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017 under certain conditions, one of which is that the surviving spouse must be claiming Child Benefit for at least one child  Had they been married, she would have been able to claim WPA.

The Court has now ruled that that denial is incompatible with human rights law. This decision is likely to pave the way for claims in similar circumstances to be made across the UK.


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