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Bereavement Support Payment and deceased never worked/paid NI

WR Adviser
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Welfare rights worker - Community Law Service, Northampton

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Good morning. I have a client whose wife has died but he has been refused BSP as she did not pay any NI.  She had a lifelong severe illness which prevented her working. Has anyone challenged the DWP’s decision based on O’Donnell v Department for Communities?  I would be interested to hear if there was any success or what the DWP response was.  Many thanks

Elliot Kent
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Not something I have tried. Northern Ireland’s Department for Communities has issued a detailed memo to its decision makers on the approach to be taken to cases where O’Donnell is thought relevant (https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/communities/dmg-memo-vol10-77.pdf) but there is no equivalent in the rest of the UK.

I would guess that the response that you will get is that the NI Court of Appeal’s decision is not binding on DWP decision making as it relates to different legislation in a different jurisdiction and they don’t propose to do anything about it unless and until the UT, CoA (E&W) or UKSC says otherwise.

WR Adviser
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Welfare rights worker - Community Law Service, Northampton

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Thanks Elliot, yes I’m sure that will be the response.  I just wondered if anyone had tried it really.  My client is keen to pursue this as far as is necessary so we will do so!

Gareth Morgan
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No credits?

WR Adviser
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Welfare rights worker - Community Law Service, Northampton

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Total Posts: 69

Joined: 22 June 2010

I don’t believe credits count unfortunately: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/19/section/31

Happy to be corrected if I am wrong though!

Gareth Morgan
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Sorry I just read BSP as basic state pension.  Yes, 6 months paid NI needed.