Mother awarded access to widowed parent's allowance

​An unmarried mother from Armoy, Co Antrim, has won access to a widowed parent's allowance for her bereaved children.

Siobhan McLaughlin and her partner, John Adams, had four children, and had been together for 23 years. When John died in 2014, Siobhan was refused a bereavement payment and widowed parent’s allowance, because she and John had been neither married nor in a civil partnership.

By a majority of four to one, the Supreme Court declared that the government’s refusal to pay up to £117 a week in benefits breached the family’s human rights – and that the current law on the allowance is ‘incompatible’ with human rights legislation.

The decision is thought to affect the rest of the UK in terms of applications for similar payments.

Read more: BBC and the Guardian