New Streamlined Bereavement Service
It is always a difficult period when having to sort out benefits following the death of a relative and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have streamlined this situation to one simple telephone call to its new bereavement service.
The service will help relatives understand what needs to be done during this difficult period with pensions and benefits advice. It is designed so that the service will collect all of the necessary information and complete a quick eligibility check to find out what benefits the surviving relative may be entitled to. It will also take any claims for the Bereavement Benefit and Social Fund Funeral Payments.
The DWP have reported that 80% of people are on a DWP benefit or state pension when they die and over 60% of these people are claiming more then one benefit from the department. It expects the new services to stream line the way in which people who are bereaved interact with the Department.
The Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:
"We want to cut all unnecessary red tape, and our Bereavement Service will do just that for people at a time of vulnerability and stress. The new service will ease the process of offering information on entitlements for bereaved relatives, minimising burdens at an otherwise difficult time."
The Bereavement Service can be contacted by calling the Pension Service on 0845 6060265 and selecting option 2 on the automated service.
Marta Phillips, Chief Executive of The Pensions Advisory Service said:
"Our service receives a large number of calls regarding the death of a relative from people seeking help on what to do next in respect of their state benefits. The Bereavement Service will be a welcome addition to helping people sort out their financial arrangements and help assist them through the process at a very difficult time in their lives"
The Pensions Advisory Service has produced a state pension death benefit fact sheet, which can be accessed by clicking here.