Funeral home welcomes new £3,500 payment to be made to bereaved partners with children below pension age
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A funeral home has welcomed a new £3,500 payment that will be made to anyone with a child younger than pension age whose husband, wife or civil partner has died.
A new Bereavement Support Payment was brought in on Thursday, April 6 aimed at increasing the number of people who can claim help if they are faced with the sudden loss of a loved one.
A lump sum of £3,500 will be paid, followed by 18 monthly instalments of £350.
The old payments system wasn't available to anyone under 45 years old and was part of a three-tier system, which the government has acknowledged could be unfair and has now been scrapped.
Norfolk and Suffolk funeral directors Rosedale Funeral Home has welcomed the move.
Administration manager Lorraine Willis said: 'I think it is a much fairer system and one which will genuinely help families when they need it most.
'At the moment the payment of just £2,000 does not even cover the cost of a basic funeral, so the increase to £3,500 for some will mean that the immediate worry and stress caused by having to find the finance to say goodbye to their loved ones will be taken away.'
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Some people may not see an improvement in benefits available under this scheme. Previously widowed parents over 45 would have received an allowance until they were no longer eligible for child benefit.
However, the new scheme does benefit younger widows and widowers as the age limit has been removed.
'Funeral poverty is an important issue to address,' Ms Willis added.
Rosedale Funeral Home has branches in Attleborough, Beccles, Bungay, Diss, Halesworth and Wymondham.
Caroline Nokes, minister for welfare delivery, said: 'The old system could be unfair, complex and also act as a trap preventing people from moving on with their lives.
'That's why we are modernising this support into a simple, uniform and easy-to-understand benefit that better reflects society and helps people through what can be a very difficult time.'
What do you think? Email South and West Norfolk editor Andrew Papworth on firstname.lastname@example.org