Funeral support group, Down To Earth, has announced a new ‘Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment’ training scheme for funeral professionals.
With average funeral costs on the rise, the group says more people are struggling to afford to pay and the ‘Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment’ training is in “high demand”. According to Down to Earth, “confusing” eligibility criteria and common mistakes mean that only 61% of applications in 2016-17 resulted in the fund application being awarded.
The new training workshop from the Down to Earth team provides professionals with knowledge on how to support clients through the process. The two hour workshop looks at eligibility criteria, common mistakes, how the payment is calculated and the “confusing” estrangement rules. As a result, the group says clients will gain “peace of mind that their claim will be considered and reduce worries around the cost of a funeral”.
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 build up substantial knowledge through our experience of dealing with this benefit and contacts at the DWP every day. We think this will help funeral directors support their customers when making difficult decisions around deposits and payments. We know they do a hard job, and want to make this aspect easier.”