Government’s Bereavement Benefits Inquiry continues

February 4, 2016   //   No Comments

The government’s inquiry into bereavement benefits continued last week with an interview with Baroness Altmann CBE, Minister of State for Pensions, Department for Work and Pensions.  Issues raised by the inquiry include:

  • The rationale for a cap of £700 for “other funeral expenses” which must cover collection and care of the deceased, coffin, Minister’s fee etc, which has been in place since 2003.
  • Whether changes to Social Fund funeral payments could help to curb the number of Public Health Funerals. A Freedom of Information enquiry the BBC suggests that the number Public Health Funerals is increasing.
  • Whether changes could be made so that cohabiting couples with children are also eligible for the new Bereavement Support Payment.  Currently only married couples or couples in a civil partnership are eligible, even if couples have dependent children together.
  • Why the Bereavement Support Payment is only paid for a year whereas Widowed Parent’s Allowance is payable for a number of years and the impact this could have on bereaved children.

You may follow the inquiry’s development on the parliament website here.