Coronavirus and Bereavement
This page has been created to support families who lose a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
All of us at some time or other will lose someone special in our lives. Some of the steps we take when someone dies have changed because of the coronavirus. The Government has worked with funeral directors, crematoriums and coroners to produced guidance to keep people safe, ensuring funerals can continue. Read more >>
You may have many questions; which we hope we have answered below.
Coping with a bereavement at this time
The death of someone close to us can be one of the hardest things we ever have to deal with – grief is never easy. But at the moment it may seem just that bit harder as we feel more detached from our usual support networks. Cruse Bereavement Care have more information on dealing with a bereavement during the coronavirus outbreak.
GriefChat was created by bereavement experts; here you can chat online directly to a specially trained bereavement counsellor. GriefChat counsellors are experienced in supporting bereaved people and will listen to your story, explore how your grief is affecting you and help you to find any additional support you might need. GriefChat is a completely free service and is available Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm or by email out of these hours.
I can’t afford to pay for the funeral, what can you do to help?
If you arrange the funeral with a funeral director, you're responsible for the costs. You should ask to see a price list before choosing a funeral, or explain how much you have to spend and see what services are possible.
You might be able to get help paying for the funeral if you're on benefits. Check if you can get a Funeral Expenses Payment on GOV.UK.
Down to Earth may be able to help with funeral coats if you are on benefits or have a low income.
Coroner inquests and reviews
The chief coroner’s advice for England and Wales is that no physical hearings should take place unless they are urgent and essential and only if suitable arrangements can be made to ensure distancing. Even then it may be that only one member of the immediate family can attend. All hearings that can possibly take place remotely (via whatever means) should do so. Some hearings may be postponed.
Deaths caused by coronavirus do not automatically have to be referred to the coroner, it would only be if there were other circumstances involved. Where the coroner is involved, inquests with juries would normally be required, but this will not be the case during this time. Coroners will still be able to hold a jury inquest in coronavirus cases where they consider this appropriate.
This information has been taken from the following websites: