NAFD to push for sensible solutions to Social Fund inadequacies

The National Association of Funeral Directors is today meeting with DWP Minister Baroness Altmann, as part of an industry round table looking at the recommendations of the recent Work and Pensions Select Committee Report into bereavement benefits.

NAFD Vice President Jeremy Field will be pushing for a long overdue increase in the £700 cap on “other funeral costs” which has been in place since 2003 and covers almost everything relating to the funeral including the coffin, flowers, celebrant or minister’s fees and the services of the funeral director in making all of the arrangements.

He will also argue that allowing disbursements (third party costs including burial and cremation fees) to remain uncapped – despite the often rapid rate of annual increases to these fees – is a major issue skewing the Social Fund’s ability to be effective.

Mr. Field will encourage them to consider alternatives to the current application system which would speed up decision making. For example, perhaps some kind of a voucher system for eligible families so they know with certainty that some level of support is there will be there for them, which is key to ensuring the funeral can proceed without undue delay and distress to the family, which is so often the case at present.