Widowers (Access to Benefits)

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Mark Todd Mark Todd Labour, South Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the claims of widowers bereaved before 9 April 2001 for equal access to benefits; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

Bereavement Benefits were introduced in April 2001, for the first time extending support to both widows and widowers.

Prior to April 2001, there was no statutory basis on which to pay widows' benefits to men. This is being contested in both domestic and European courts. Until the litigation is completed and all the judgments are known regarding the different aspects of the claims, it is not possible to determine what action may be taken in response.

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