HC Deb 03 May 2001 vol 367 c787W
Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Secretary what plans he has to revise the rules to help with funeral costs. [158837]

Angela Eagle

Help with funeral costs is available to those on the lowest incomes through the Social Fund. We recently announced that with effect from October 2001 we are amending the Social Fund Funeral Payment regulations to ensure that claimants' relatives who are in receipt of help under the National Asylum Support Service are treated in the same way as those receiving qualifying benefits.

In addition, the capital of those people who qualify for a Social Fund Funeral Payment for a death occurring on or after 7 October 2001 will no longer be taken into account. This changes the current provision whereby those who qualify have their award reduced by the amount of capital they have over £500 (£1,000 if the claimant or partner is aged 60 or over).