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Observer II

Widow ?

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According to my dictionary, the definition of the term "widow" is - a woman who has lost her HUSBAND by death and not married again.  The term husband and wife presumably derives from the fact they are/were married.  So why has the supreme court upheld a claim for post-mortem payments to a woman who wasn't married to the deceased ?       ^_^

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Think it may be to do with the fact that she has three or four children by this chap and has been with him twenty odd years. Although the court has sided with her, the government cannot do anything because of that definition of widow, which is what they pay out by.Not sure if a common law couple have the same rights as a married couple. there has been a lot of campaigning about that but i personally am not up on recent developements. (probably because i am a non LBGT and been happily? married for the last forty years come a week on sunday anyway)

now then given that same sex marriages are now legal, how does the government sort out who is entitled to what?

In the case of two men there is no widow according to that definition ditto with the two women. with gender reassignment thrown into the mix the permutations are a nightmare. add to that the latest gender neutral one and any attempt at sorting it out would make your head explode.:wacko:

I think the biggest argument that was put forward was that as a married couple she was entitled to part of his pension contributions. As an unmarried couple she was not, so what happens to that money that he has paid into the pot all these years? She thinks that in all fairness she has lived with him and brought up his kids with him but cannot get a penny, while those who have a bit of paper can.

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Married or civil partnership are the key words .Gay & lesbian couples are covered providing they are married or in a civil partnership.

The other one i hate is like the story last week about the young man who couldn't get any help off the government to bury his granddad who was his only living relative. My grandson had the same problem when his mother died ,but luckily we could step in & help him out.

The government website is something that  everybody needs to keep up with regularly. All information is on there & laws,especially concerning benefits, can change overnight & without general media announcements being made.

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A "bit of paper" seems to be the issue: but entitlement usually requires some form of legal compliance, be it a TV or car license, or even a fishing licence, so what's the problem with a marriage licence ?

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21 hours ago, Observer II said:

According to my dictionary, the definition of the term "widow" is - a woman who has lost her HUSBAND by death and not married again.  The term husband and wife presumably derives from the fact they are/were married.  So why has the supreme court upheld a claim for post-mortem payments to a woman who wasn't married to the deceased ?       ^_^

I'm not sure what you mean by post-mortem payments have been made to her as the news Ive seen simply says she will not get a 'Widowed Parent Allowance' despite not actually being married.

My understanding of the Widows Payment allowance is that you can only get it it you have a child/children under 16 (or under 20 if they are still in education) and as such are still eligible  for Child Benefit Payments and that your 'husband' had paid National Insurance etc

The way I see it is that if she and her partner (as parents of their kids) had been together for 23 years then they were as good as married even though they didn't have that special little piece of paper called a marriage certificate.
 

They had proved their commitment to each other and their kids by staying together for 23 years..which is more can be said for a lot of 'married' couples who never go the course and last that long.  

What about married couples who split up but never divorce...they would still be entitles to the Widowed Parent Allowance even though they are not together.

What does rattle me is how Civil Partnerships or Same Sex Marriages  are now classed as having the exact same rights as any married couple but cohabiting partners (male+female) living together and bringing up their children for many years together are still treated as being separate in the eyes of the law and as such have NO rights whatsoever !  Wrong that !!! 

Anyway don't get me started on that..... :angry::unsure::|

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Dizzy, your view is closest to what was in the majority verdict of the Supreme Court at least in terms of reasoning. The declaration was " (The law on WPA in Northern Ireland) ..was incompatible with article 8 of the ECHR in conjunction with article 14 "insofar as it restricts eligibility for Widowed Parent’s Allowance by reference to the marital status of the applicant and the deceased". The old Widows Pension was payable until a retirement pension became payable so decisions were based on the status of the surviving spouse. Now the payment is a benefit intended to help the children and it is their status which their lordships found should have been considered.

The upshot is that this judgement appears to be narrowly focussed on WPA in Northern Ireland and is not a general change in the status of marriage, no matter how much one wants it to be or not to be! Both Viewpoints were aired in the judgment as one of the Judges had a wholly dissenting view. (Trying not to get you started !!!)

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Think the confusion arises nowadays with the ubiquitous use of the term "human rights", when discussing "entitlements";  there's never any mention of "human responsibilties".  Now it would seem to that parents have a "responsibilty" to secure the entitlements of their kids, in this case, by being married.   

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8 hours ago, Observer II said:

...... .  Now it would seem to that parents have a "responsibilty" to secure the entitlements of their kids, in this case, by being married.   

But why do you say parents have a responsibility to secure their kids rights by being married?  You can be parents without being married so surely the 'parent' bit is of most importance and relevance rather than a bit of  paper and a name change. 

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Dizzy, Obs was not correct in what he said. The majority judgement said that the law was in error and the authorities should not have required that they were married. If anything the action that they had to take was to start legal action and they still are not married.

The European Convention on Human Rights is written to prevent mistreatment of citizens by Governments it therefore limits what states can require of its citizens and is not about specifying what should be required of them. Hence it is by design about rights and ensuring that they are not extinguished by responsibilities.

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11 hours ago, Dizzy said:

But why do you say parents have a responsibility to secure their kids rights by being married?  You can be parents without being married so surely the 'parent' bit is of most importance and relevance rather than a bit of  paper and a name change. 

I'm sure any anarchist would agree Diz.  

 

4 hours ago, Confused52 said:

Dizzy, Obs was not correct in what he said. The majority judgement said that the law was in error and the authorities should not have required that they were married. If anything the action that they had to take was to start legal action and they still are not married.

The European Convention on Human Rights is written to prevent mistreatment of citizens by Governments it therefore limits what states can require of its citizens and is not about specifying what should be required of them. Hence it is by design about rights and ensuring that they are not extinguished by responsibilities.

Of course I'm "not correct" in law, as this case has now shown, but laws are the result of legislation by politicians elected by the people; which are then subject to interpretation by Judges. In this case it's interesting you mention the ECHR,  trumping the decisions of a National Government, which imo brings into question the whole issue of National Sovereignty  - but that's another can of worms, and the essence behind the whole Brexit debate.  

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A digression maybe, but it seems Police are now exercising powers to revoke the driving license for anyone failing a road side eye test, IE reading a number plate at 20 metres,  no doubt this will be met by a legal challenge by the my way or no way community.     :D

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and another one -  a waitress in Canada is suing her employer, due to their dress code that requires her to wear a bra - more human rights.    :rolleyes:

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