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Grief Awareness Week: Providing support for people facing bereavement

During National Grief Awareness week we acknowledge that grief does not discriminate. At some point we will all be affected by a bereavement.

Our Bereavement Service of specially trained client advisers provide help to people who have to report a death and need to update us about benefit payments that we administer.

With just one phone call, people can report the death of a family member, friend or loved one directly to an expert adviser. At that point, our adviser will take the necessary information for all payments that need to be cancelled.

Our Bereavement Service is also connected to the UK-wide 'Tell Us Once' scheme, which lets most government departments and local authorities know when someone dies. The system allows our client advisers to automatically follow up with any actions without the need for people to send information separately This means people do not have to worry about further administrative tasks at a difficult time. Our client advisers can also signpost and help eligible people to apply for Funeral Support Payment. Funeral Support Payment is designed to contribute towards funeral costs for people on low incomes in receipt of certain benefits.

Since launching Funeral Support Payment in September 2019, we have approved over 18,500 applications, providing more than £30.1 million of support to bereaved families.

Our client advisers are specially trained, experienced and compassionate. People who responded to our recent client survey shared some of their experiences of applying for Funeral Support Payment.

“Wasn't any hassle and staff were very kind and respectful during a sad time and saved a lot of worry.”

“The questions asked were very straightforward and very easily filled in. The staff member who phoned and went over the application was lovely, knowledgeable and very sympathetic. She sorted out the problem and informed me what to do. The very best service I could ever have asked for.”

"The lady on the phone who helped me fill in the form was very kind and understanding. She made it a lot easier than I thought it was going to be"

“I felt very comfortable which enabled me to speak from the heart. Also the staff member who dealt with me telephoned to make sure that I had managed to deal with what she advised me to do. I thought this was a lovely thing to do as you are normally forgotten about. 100% service and top marks for the way I was dealt with.”

“I was claiming Funeral Support Payment as my mother had died and I was unable to pay for the funeral, as I am [on] disability benefits. The lady who helped me was incredibly empathetic [and] helped make an awful experience better and I got awarded the benefit. I have nothing but praise for my experience.”

“The people I dealt with were kind, considerate and I cannot speak more highly of the response I received.”

Our dedicated client advisors are helping make a difference to our clients at a time when they may be feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed.

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