RIO FERDINAND has criticised the Government for cutting benefits for widowed parents.

Ahead of his BBC1 documentary, the 38-year-old spoke on the the new Bereavement Support Payment, saying it was unfair to put a time scale on the grieving process.

Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 live, the father of three said: “I don’t understand how the Government can actually say there’s a time scale on it, because there is no time scale on anything to do with bereavement. Every individual is different.”

Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca died in 2015 aged 34 after a battle with breast cancer.

Under current legislation widowed parents can receive payments until their youngest child leaves school, but the new payment will provide an initial lump sum and up to 18 monthly payments.

The new payment would replace the Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Payment, for those who lose a spouse or civil partner on or after April 6.

According to the Evening Standard a spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “We’re updating an old system that was based on the outdated assumption that a widowed parent relied on their spouse for income, and would never work themselves.

This doesn’t reflect people’s lives today. The 18 month Bereavement Support Payment helps with the immediate costs when someone loses their spouse or civil partner and the support can help protect families from sudden financial difficulties.

“Once the payments come to an end, there are means-tested benefits which can continue to support the bereaved, especially those who are bringing up children.

The new payment is easier to claim, won’t be taxed and doesn’t affect the amount received from other benefits, helping those on the lowest incomes the most. Source : h

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