A funeral directors based in the Diss Express area has backed a government plan to give more support to those faced with the sudden loss of a loved one.
The Bereavement Support Payment, coming into force on Thursday, will be available to anyone younger than pensionable age with a child whose husband, wife or civil partner has died.
“I think it is a much fairer system and one which will genuinely help families when they need it mostLorraine Willis, Administration Manager, Rosedale Funeral Home
A lump sum of £3,500 will be paid, followed by 18 monthly instalments of up to £350. Amounts vary for those without children.
Rosedale Funeral Home, which officers in Diss and Attleborough, say the old payments system and was not available to anyone under 45, and the government had acknowledged it could be unfair.
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.
“Funeral poverty is an important issue to address.
“Rosedale is the only local funeral home with a dedicated member of staff who can specialise in helping and signposting people towards financial assistance. We can also suggest charities who are often able to assist where the welfare state cannot.”
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, Minister for Welfare Delivery, added: “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.”
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