When You Can and Cannot Claim for the Bereavement Award
Throughout our many years covering fatal accident claims, we’ve been longtime supporters of the bereavement award. We know how helpful the award can be for relatives who’ve lost a loved one quite suddenly due to another person’s actions. In many ways, the bereavement award is a necessity for coping with the emotional and financial damage caused as a result of the death. We continue to fight for greater inclusion and larger figures when it comes to bereavement damages.
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for a bereavement award, even in circumstances where you would assume eligibility to be obvious. The bereavement award can be a complicated matter, but in today’s blog post we will try and explain when you can and cannot make claim for the award under certain situations.
When You Can Claim
First of all, a bereavement award is not simply handed out for every death. The law is pretty clear that the award can only be provided when someone’s death is judged to be due to the unlawful or negligent actions of another party. Only after that fact has been established can we begin to look at the specifics of who may be eligible. The bereavement award is governed by the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 which states that damages should only be paid to people who meet the criteria. It is here were we, and many other solicitors, believe that the law is too strict and doesn’t take into account the individual circumstances.
So who can claim for the bereavement award? Presently, you can only make a claim if you are a surviving spouse or civil partner, as long as the death is judged to have happened due to someone’s negligence or unlawful actions. If you are a parent of a child who has tragically died, you can pursue a claim if they were under 18 at the time of death. Last of all, unmarried couples who’ve lived together for at least two years are now able to make a claim, something that has only been possible in recent years following court battles.
When You Cannot Claim
If another person has not caused the death, such as natural causes, then a bereavement award is not possible. There may, however, be other areas of compensation or financial support available for cases that fall into that category. As we have already made clear, a fatal accident that fits the bill is not enough to automatically provide someone with the bereavement award.
You must apply for the award and only the people mentioned in the previous section are able to do so. The award has limited criteria that clearly states who is eligible rather than who is specifically unable to claim. That means parents of an adult that has died would not be eligible. Likewise, children are not eligible should they lose a parent. Grandparents are also unable to claim for the award. Unmarried partners who’ve lived together for less than two years would not be eligible for the bereavement award should one of them sadly pass.
Posted: March 12, 2021 at 3:06 pm