Views on proposed improvements to Funeral Expenses Payments sought
A consultation on changes to make it easier to claim a Funeral Expenses Payment has opened today (5 July 2017).
Funeral Payments are available to people who receive certain income-related benefits to help pay for the funeral of an immediate friend or relative.
The government wants 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:
We understand what a distressing and difficult time it can be losing a loved one and we want to make the process of claiming a Funeral Payment as simple as possible. That’s why we have looked at a number of improvements to the process and are seeking people’s views on those.
The proposals include:
- allowing recipients of a Funeral Expenses 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
Funeral Payments can help pay for:
- 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 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 Jobseekers Allowance
- income-based Employment Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
- Child Tax Credit
Contact Press Office
Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5111
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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