QSA to address ‘confusing’ fund

Quaker Social Action are to offer training to funeral directors on helping clients claim for financial help to cover funeral costs

Quaker Social Action (QSA) has launched a new training workshop aimed at easing the ‘confusing’ application process for people seeking financial help for funeral costs. The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment training, organised by QSA’s Down to Earth project, enables funeral directors to help clients successfully apply for help from the fund.

According to QSA, only 61 per cent of applicants in 2016-17 were successful due to the ‘confusing eligibility criteria’, despite more people needing help. A report in 2018 showed funeral costs had risen 122 per cent since 2004, including a 4.7 per cent jump from 2017 to 2018. The average cost of a funeral is now £4,271.

Claire Brandon, manager of the Down to Earth project, said, ‘We launched the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment masterclass because we’ve seen a lot of confusion during our time advising clients and funeral directors.

‘We’re excited to share our experiences with funeral directors, so that eligible customers can claim with confidence. We’ve built up substantial knowledge through our experience of dealing with this benefit and contacts at the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] every day.’

The first workshop will take place on 19 March.

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