I lost my husband a couple of months ago. We’d been on benefits for some time as he’d been very ill and I was his full time carer; we had no chance to save. Since he died I’m really struggling financially. My universal credit allowance is considerably smaller than the mortgage, leaving all other bills out of the picture, and although he had the simplest possible funeral and was cremated, the government’s funeral payment only covered half the costs. I’ve been looking for work without success from the end of the week when he died, and I find myself lying awake at night worrying about the undertaker’s bill.
I’ve got two questions really: a) can anything help me with this financial catastrophe, and b) how can I protect myself from falling to pieces when things are resolved and I do actually have time to take in my loss? Any suggestions very gratefully received.
So sorry you’re going through this. People don’t realise the financial impact deaths can have.
My main advice is to speak to all the companies you pay bills to and explain the situation. With your mortgage you maybe able to have a break or pay interest only for a while. Citizens advise bureau maybe able to help. If your partner died of cancer, macmillan and places like that have advice lines too.
Do you have anyone that can help you? X
It’s so difficult when you are facing the worst possible times in your life but can’t grieve properly because of the everyday financial situation.
Just a thought, you mentioned the government funeral payment but have you also applied for the Bereavement Support Payment? This pays a lump sum then £100 per month (there are criteria but it’s worth looking into). It’s more if you have dependent children.
Thanks for getting back, Nori. No, I’ve nobody who can help. The companies I have to pay out to have mostly been reasonable - even the electricity bunch backed down after they’d driven me to tears on the phone. I’m managing just now and if I’m really, really careful I should be ok into November with my ordinary expenses, but I can’t touch the undertaker’s bill and it’s getting me down having that hanging over me as well as everything else.
Thanks for getting back. Yes, I did get the BSP eventually, but that’s what I’m using to pay my ordinary bills just now. If I’d used it to pay the undertaker, I’d be penniless. I just don’t have the energy for all this just now, which is why I hoped there might be a charity or somewhere that would pay him off now and let me pay them back later.
Hi Cadge, thanks for replying. Yes, I did eventually get the BSP, which is what I’m using to pay my ordinary bills. I’m trying to negotiate with the undertaker, but they want £100 a month and I only get £338 UC, so it’s basically a total nightmare and I haven’t the energy for it.
So sorry to hear that, Annax. It’s astonishing how little publicity there is about this; the media is always ranting about young people struggling financially, but there’s nothing at all about the damage an unexpected death can cause to families. I hope some of the advice people are kindly giving me is also helpful to you x
Hi just a idea but if your struggling with any debts including your funeral bill have you thought about getting intouch with stepchange and setting up a dmp you pay them one monthly payment what you can afford then they pay all your creditor’s just a idea sorry nothing worse than money worries my husband was the main provider so i have at to get a job not started yet im not ready im only 6 weeks in im currently getting no income x
Hi Cadge, so sorry to hear about your husband. It’s a nightmare, isn’t it - not just the loss, but the complete change of life too? Wondering if Alex’s link above might be helpful for you as well? I’ve had loads of dealings with the DWP and other agencies over the years, so I know they take forever to deal with anything. I actually found it helpful to get benefits applied for and start looking for work early, because I was still numb from the suddenness of it all and it gave me a focus. It would have been harder to start now, with the reality really sinking in. But you do what’s good for you. I hope you can find a way through it all soon x