Department for Work & Pensions  

DWP overhauls bereavement support

The original bereavement benefits were introduced in the Widows and Orphans Act of 1925. 

Their purpose was to provide an early retirement pension for widows who had been dependent on their husband’s income. 

The last time these benefits were reformed was in 2001 when entitlement was extended to widowers. 

Today they are available to working-age people with children, or childless bereaved spouses and civil partners aged over 45.