From next year, it should be easier for bereaved families and friends to claim funeral payments.
These payments are available to claimants of certain state benefits who are responsible for the funeral of a close relative or friend.
Among the changes are an extension to the claim period from three months from the date of the funeral to six months, a shorter application form for children’s funerals, and allowing claimants to submit evidence supporting their claim electronically.
Claimants will also not see their payment reduced if they get any help paying for the funeral from friends, relatives or charities.
The Department for Work and Pensions says it wants to make it clearer who is eligible for the payment and make it easier to claim.
Minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, Caroline Dinenage, adds: “Losing a loved one is a sad and difficult time and we want to make the process of claiming a funeral payment as simple as possible. I want to thank those who responded to our consultation and I am pleased that we will be bringing in all its recommendations to make it easier for people to make a claim.”
How much the payment is worth will depend on your circumstances, but it can be used to cover burial or cremation fees, death certificates, costs associated with moving the body (if this is more than 50 miles), and as much as £700 towards other costs such as flowers, coffins or funeral directors’ fees.