The Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Kit Malthouse has announced changes to Funeral Expenses Payments that will mean recipients can receive contributions from others without them being deducted from the payment, as well as introducing other improvements to make the whole system simpler.
Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Kit Malthouse said:
We are committed to supporting vulnerable people going through bereavement. It is only right that we make it as simple as possible for people to get help towards funeral expenses during what is an extremely difficult time.
The improvements will include:
- allowing recipients of a Funeral Expenses Payment to receive contributions from relatives, friends or charities without them being deducted from the payment
- extending the claim period from 3 to 6 months from the date of the funeral
- allowing people to submit evidence electronically to speed up the processing of claims and get decisions to claimants sooner
- introducing a shorter application form to apply for help towards the cost of children’s funerals
The changes were confirmed in a written statement to Parliament on Monday 22 January following a consultation process.
The changes will come into effect in the spring.
Funeral Expenses Payments can help pay for the costs of a simple, respectful funeral for people on qualifying benefits.
- 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 fees, flowers or the coffin
People in receipt of the following benefits may be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
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