New government scheme to stop burial and cremation fees for child funerals
This week the government have announced they will be bringing in the much anticipated Children’s Funeral Fund (CFF) for England*, meaning that from 23rd July, no bereaved parent will have to pay for their child’s burial or cremation.
After much campaigning by MPs and other groups, including the Co-op, the new scheme will ensure that grieving families don’t have to face financial difficulties as a result of paying for their child’s funeral.
But what does the fund cover?
A funeral is made up of many different parts and costs, and the fund is primarily set to cover a part of the funeral called disbursements. Disbursements are charges that are payable to any third party, and in the case of the CFF, they are the crematorium fee or the burial fee. These charges can be anything from £500 to over £1500 depending on where you live.
But there are other parts of a funeral that families still have to consider. The fund covers a £300 contribution towards a coffin, but there are also arrangement fees, transfers, minister fees and vehicles that make up the overall cost of a funeral.
We’ve been offering free child funerals for over 30 years, helping over 25,000 families in the most devastating time of their lives. However, unlike the Co-op, not all funeral directors waive the fees for a child’s funeral, and so many grieving families could still find that they have a large bill to pay even after the Children's Funeral Fund CFF contribution to disbursements.
Help is also available from the government for families who receive certain benefits in the form of the Funeral Expenses Payment, and anyone eligible for this payment will also be able to claim from the Child Funerals Fund.
Overall, the introduction of the Children’s Funeral Fund is an extremely positive move towards fair and caring treatment towards bereaved families, but we believe that more can still be done.
*Scotland and Wales already have established schemes, under devolved powers, to make financial support available to providers of burial and cremation for children.