The fund provides a one-off lump sum payment of £3,056 to cover the expenses of a funeral after the death of a child under the age of 18, or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy. The claim can be made for a funeral service or ceremony that takes place in Northern Ireland on or after 1 June 2022. The claim must be made within 6 months of the date of the funeral, and the claimant must have taken responsibility for the funeral expenses.
The Department committed to undertaking a review of the Child Funeral Fund once the scheme had been operational for 6 months. The review report covers the period from 1 June 2022 to 31 March 2023 and sets out statistics about the number claims and the cost of the scheme, as well as recommendations. The Department has concluded that the Fund is working as intended with the original policy intent and that no major changes are required.
The Department will continue to closely monitor the Child Funeral Fund going forward, with current plans to undertake reviews of the scheme every two years. For any queries about the scheme or the review, please contact SSPLD@communities-ni.gov.uk.