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Magda Hassan
07-18-2012, 01:52 PM
Pauper's funerals increase as Government rejects half of welfare applicantsSharp rise in pauper's funerals as Government rejects half of applicants for state funeral hand out.


By Rosie Murray-West (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/rosie-murray-west/)

3:53PM BST 16 Jul 2012




Strained families are being forced to bury their dead using so-called 'pauper's funerals' because the Government is turning down almost half of those who apply for funeral payments.

The Government Funeral Payment system, designed for those who need support with funeral costs, is being inundated with applications, a new report has revealed. Even for those who do get help, the typical sum awarded is £1,217, which is far short of the average £3091 cost of a funeral.

Kate Woodthorpe, from the University of Bath, said that it is "becoming too expensive for poor people to die". "Thousands of the most vulnerable in society are being let down by a system of state support that lacks coherence and is so unclear that some applicants have to resort to alternative means to organise a funeral."

The report, from Sun Life Direct and Bath University, said that more people would have to consider alternatives such as a Public Health Funeral, or so-called pauper's funerals.

Last year alone, the number of applications rejected for a Funeral Payment increased by 6.9 per cent, and this is likely to jump again as the death rate is forecast to rise by 17 per cent each year for the next 15 years. With rising concerns about pensioner poverty and the cost of social care, having sufficient resources on hand to pay for a funeral is set to become an issue for a growing number of people.

Last year alone, the number of applications rejected for a Funeral Payment increased by 6.9 per cent, and this is likely to jump again as the death rate is forecast to rise by 17 per cent each year for the next 15 years. With rising concerns about pensioner poverty and the cost of social care, having sufficient resources on hand to pay for a funeral is set to become an issue for a growing number of people.
Recipients of certain benefits are able to apply for funeral payments, but eligibility depends on a variety of issues including your relation to the deceased. It is possible to download a claim form from the Direct Gov website.
However, the report said that those who apply for the payments often have to commit to the funeral costs before they know whether their application will be accepted.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/9403521/Paupers-funerals-increase-as-Government-rejects-half-of-welfare-applicants.html