September 2019

Families First News

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Bereaved parents will be spared children's funeral costs

Families grieving the loss of a child will no longer have to meet the costs of their burial or cremation, as a result of a new government scheme.

Every year in England, an estimated 3,800 children die under the age of 18, and there are a further 2,700 stillbirths. The Children’s Funeral Fund (CFF) will come into effect on July 23rd 2019.  

Under the fund arrangements, no bereaved family will have to pay the fees charged for a child’s cremation or burial or for a number of prescribed associated expenses. The fund provides for burial authorities and cremation authorities to apply to government for the reimbursement of the fees which would otherwise be charged to the parent of an eligible child. It also provides for funeral directors to apply for reimbursement of certain associated expenses, including a £300 contribution towards the price of a coffin.

If the person responsible for organising the burial or cremation chooses not to use a funeral director but makes the funeral arrangements themselves, they will be able to claim directly for those expenses from the fund.

The main conditions for the scheme are that the child is under 18 at the time of death or is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, and that the burial or cremation takes place in England. The scheme is not means-tested, and the residency or nationality of the deceased child, or of the person organising the burial or cremation, is not relevant either. Regulations are to be laid in parliament today (Monday 1 July), ahead of the Fund coming into effect on 23 July.

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