Benefit claimants to get more money to help with funeral costs

November 5, 2019   //   No Comments

SAIF welcomes news from the Department for Work and Pensions that the Funeral Expenses Payment will increase next spring.

Families grieving the loss of a loved one will receive up to £1,000 to help meet the costs of a funeral, Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince has announced.

From spring 2020, the maximum amount families can claim to help meet costs for expenses such as a celebrant or religious leader fees, coffin, flowers and funeral directors’ fees will rise by 43%, from £700. This payment is on top of existing allowances that pay for funeral necessities, such as burial or cremation fees.

Funeral Expenses Payments, which are paid to eligible benefit claimants, are being increased for the first time since 2003.

Announcing the change, the Minister said:

“Everyone wants to give their loved ones a dignified send-off, and this money will help pay for the personal touches that enable a family to say goodbye properly. Planning a funeral can be incredibly distressing, and this payment will help lighten the financial burden on families during a difficult time.”

The announcement follows changes made earlier in the year to simplify and speed up the process for applying for Funeral Expenses Payments.

Around 800 claims are received each week by the Department for Work and Pensions Bereavement Support team.

Terry Tennens, Chief Executive of SAIF, said: “We welcome the move and thank the Government for making this step in the right direction. However, the amount still falls short of the average cost of a funeral and we will continue to work with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure funeral benefits are able to meet the needs of the poorest in society.”