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7 April, 2020 Open access

Increase in maximum additional amount within funeral expenses payment from £700 to £1,000

New statutory instrument

New regulations have been issued to provide for an increase in the maximum additional amount within the funeral expenses payment.

In force from 8 April 2020, the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.405/2020) amend the Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 2005 to increase the amount paid for additional expenses from £700 to £1,000 for deaths which occur on or after 8 April 2020.

NB - the explanatory memorandum to the regulations advises that -

'Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payments help eligible claimants with the cost of arranging a funeral. Funeral Expenses Payments met the full, necessary costs of a cremation or burial; these are broadly, the cost of purchasing a grave with exclusive burial rights, basic crematorium or burial fees, the costs of necessary documentation and (in some cases) transport of the deceased’s body.

An additional discretionary element can be used to help pay for items such as flowers, car hire, the funeral ceremony and funeral director charges for making the arrangements. The discretionary element is capped at £700 (or £120 where the claimant is provided with some items or services under a pre-paid funeral plan).

The decision has been made that the current £700 cap for the discretionary element will be increased to £1,000 for all cases.'

The memorandum also advises that these are emergency regulations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and that, as a result, they have been introduced without being first submitted to the Social Security Advisory Committee.

SI.No.405/2020 is available from legislation.gov.uk