Improvements to make it easier to claim a Funeral Payment will be brought in next year, the government has announced.
Funeral Payments are available to people who receive certain income-related benefits to help pay towards the cost of a funeral for an immediate friend or relative.
The government consulted on reforms to make it clearer who is eligible for a payment and make it easier for people to claim.
Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Caroline Dinenage said:
Losing a loved one is a sad and difficult time and we want to make the process of claiming a funeral payment as simple as possible.
I want to thank those who responded to our consultation and I am pleased that we will be bringing in all its recommendations to make it easier for people to make a claim.
The improvements include:
- allowing recipients of a Funeral Payment to receive contributions from relatives, friends or charities without it being deducted from the payment
- extending the claim period from 3 to 6 months from the date of the funeral
- allowing applicants to submit evidence electronically to speed up the processing of claims and get decisions to claimants sooner
- introducing a shorter application form for children’s funerals
Funeral Payments can help pay for the costs of a simple, respectful funeral for people on qualifying benefits. This includes:
- burial fees and exclusive rights of burial in a particular plot
- medical certification fees needed for cremations, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
- travel to arrange or go to the funeral
- the cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
- death certificates or other documents
- up to £700 for other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin
People in receipt of the following benefits may be eligible for a Funeral Payment:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
- Child Tax Credit
The changes will be brought in next year.
Contact Press Office
London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144
Out-of-hours (journalists only) 076 59 108 883
England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099
Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122
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