In whats has been a landmark ruling by the UK Supreme Court, Armoy woman Siobhan Mc Laughlin has won her case against being denied the ‘Widowed Parents Allowance’ benefit which could now allow her to claim this benefit.Ms McLaughlin had lived with her partner for 23 years, had 4 kids together but never married. This left her under the current rules to be unable to claim this benefit as you need to be either married or in a civil partnership.
After her partners death in 2014, Ms McLaughlin was left to raise 4 kids on her own and provide for them all with financial uncertainly. initially Ms McLaughlin won her case but this was reversed by the Courts of Appeals. Left with no choice Ms McLaughin has had to wok two jobs.
In April of this year the UK Supreme Court met for the first time in Northern Ireland and Ms McLaughlin case was the first case to be heard in the court here. They have now ruled that the current rules are ‘not compatible with human rights’.
This ruling doesn’t change the current legislation but puts pressure on the UK government to introduce NEW legislation to prevent any violations in a persons human rights. If changes in the rules are introduced, the benefit could affect potentially 1000’s.
Ms McLaughlin has since said that;
“It was always about the rights of bereaved children.”