You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Government to introduce changes to funeral payments in April

0
Written by:
22/01/2018
The government has announced plans to simplify the process for making claims under the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payments scheme.

The scheme makes a contribution to the costs of funerals being arranged by people on qualifying benefits. It allows them to receive up to £700 for funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, the coffin, flowers and travel.

However, critics have argued that these payments have failed to keep up with the increasing cost of funerals and concerns have been raised over a lack of clarity on eligibility criteria. The government launched a consultation on Funeral Payments this summer and revealed the results in November.

A number of changes will come into effect on 2 April, including enabling claimants to receive contributions from charities, relatives or friends without them being deducted from the overall sum payable toward funeral costs. Also, claimants will have six months from the funeral date in which to make an application for help with funeral costs instead of the current three months. They will also have the option of submitting any evidence needed in support of their claim electronically.

Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: “It’s good to see small changes being made to the Funeral Payment process, but the government has ignored the biggest issue.  Funeral costs continue to increase above inflation year-on-year, with our research showing that bereaved families who qualify for the fund face a shortfall of more than £2,000 to cover the cost of a funeral. While these reforms are a step in the right direction, they fail to address the value of the award and we want the government to go further and commit to increasing the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment.”

According to the latest SunLife Cost of Dying report, the average funeral now costs £4,078. Funeral costs are up 4.7% in just a year, having risen more than 70% in the past decade, more than three and a half times the increase in house prices.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Five ways to get on the property ladder without the Bank of Mum and Dad

A report suggests the Bank of Mum and Dad is running low on funds. Fortunately, there are other options for st...

The essential Your Money guide to the April 2018 tax changes

As we head into the 2018/19 tax year, a number of key changes take place to existing policies while some new i...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

YourMoney.com Awards 2018

Now in their 21st year, our awards recognise the companies offering the best products and services to consumers

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
enterprise investment schemes
New disclosure requirements expose higher costs for funds

New European legislation has exposed high levels of hidden charges in investment funds, says consultancy group The Lang Cat.

Close