Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bureaucracy

The paperwork generated by the FH's death seems to be never-ending.  It is still coming - and a lot of it is duplicated.  Take yesterday - I filled in an R27 tax form at the end of July, and the department replied asking for more information about one aspect of his affairs, and I responded on 11th August.  I keep photocopies of everything!  Another R27 arrived on Saturday morning........so I had to phone up and find out if there was a problem.

Also in the post yesterday were three brown envelopes from the tax credit system.  Two of them I could understand as they were winding up our joint claim, but the third one was relating to a joint claim for now, until next April and referring to sums of money I am not in receipt of.  All very confusing - another phone call, and profuse apologies from a lady in Lancashire somewhere, explaining that my single claim is up and running and I could ignore this.

And then there is the new funding for our situation.  I think I am entitled to a Widowed Parent's Allowance whilst I am getting Child Benefit for the YFG.....but it hasn't turned up yet.  I phoned them on Friday to see what was happening, and was told that it had been turned into a "manual claim" and would have to be processed by hand somewhere, and so would be delayed somewhat. "But don't worry," the kindly sounding woman said, "you'll get it backdated to the bereavement date."  I'm lucky that I am in the fortunate position of being able to manage until it does turn up, but I do feel for those for whom this lifeline is essential and they need it now.  A lump sum in six weeks' time won't feed the children now, after all.  I can see how easily people fall into debt when they have no cushion of savings to fall back on in these situations.

I have received a Bereavement Payment, which has paid a good chunk of the funeral expenses.  We had prepared, as you know, for funeral expenses and for an emergency fund.  The "average" funeral costs are supposed to be in the range of £4000 at the moment, so we were fortunate to come in well under that amount.  I'm going to do a post about funerals in the future, as I feel that they are an area where we need to plan in advance, as we are so upset and distracted at the time that more money is sometimes spent than we realise.

I hope that our situation will be sorted out by the end of September and we can start to get to grips with our new regime, and I can sort out some work for myself one way or another.  If I can't get a suitable job, I shall just have to ramp up my self-employment activities somehow.......

6 comments:

sarah said...

Hello. My husband passed away two and a half years ago, it was not expected and our daughter was 6 years old at the time. I agree the paperwork seems never ending, luckily my Aunt who had lost my uncle a few months previous advised me what I maybe entitled to, I didn't know a bereaved payment even existed and the constant dealings on the phone with various agencies can seem exhausting A funeral can be such a huge expense and you have to make decisions in a quick space of time. I love reading your blog and send you and the girls lots of love xx

Frugally challenged said...

This is just too much for someone in your position! I hope it sorts soon. And I think your concern for those facing this sort of situation without the help of being well organised both in terms of capability with paperwork and in having some money squirrelled) is admirable. You are still in my prayers

Morgan said...

Thank you both for your kind words. It is good to hear from you, and your feedback is very gratefully received. I'll let you know how it turns out.....eventually!

Angela said...

You are constantly in my thoughts- my cousin was suddenly widowed when she had a new baby, and the formfilling and bureacracy seemed unending. I do hope that things get sorted speedily xx

Morgan said...

Thanks, Ang - you and Bob are in my prayers too. Send me a message when you are coming this way again and we can do our best to get together! Much love xx

Bridget said...

It's isn't good to have to go through this especially at such a vulnerable time for quite a few people. If a death is unexpected the stress of all this form filling is really not helpful. Hope you sort it all out.