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Bereavement support

When someone close dies it can be a devastating experience for many people. From dealing with the financial practicalities to coping with the emotions surrounding the loss, the RAF Benevolent Fund can provide the support that is needed during this difficult time.

Bereavement support

Emotional Support for Bereavement

While grieving takes time and is a natural process, it can feel overwhelming. To support RAF family members coping with a death, the RAF Benevolent Fund has launched a Listening and Counselling Service, providing easy access to bereavement counselling.

Whether you have just lost somebody or the loss took place many years ago, this confidential free service provides access to a dedicated helpline and email address, as well as telephone or face to face bereavement counselling sessions where needed. You will be eligible for this service if you fall into one of the below categories:

  • Past or present RAF personnel, including Reservists
  • Dependent family members of past or present RAF personnel (i.e. partner or dependent children)
  • Family members grieving the loss of someone in the above two categories

NB: If you are not eligible for this service, you may be able to get support through either your GP or specialist voluntary organisations such as Cruse.

If you have experienced a bereavement and need to speak to somebody contact us now. Call 0300 222 5703 (calls charged at local rate) Monday-Thursday 9.30am– 4.30pm and Friday 9.30am – 4pm (excluding bank holidays). You can also email support@rafbf.org.uk.

Please note that if you are currently serving in the RAF, it’s advisable to also make contact with your Station Welfare Team to access additional support.

Funeral grants

We understand that the cost of a funeral or burial can be very high, and it is often the last thing that you want to think about during such a traumatic time. The RAF Benevolent Fund can provide financial help, in addition to the sources of help listed below.

If you are the partner or close relative of the deceased and are responsible for arranging the funeral, you may be entitled to assistance from the government in the form of a Funeral Payment.

To qualify, the person arranging the funeral should be on a low income and / or in receipt of a means tested benefit or tax credits.

If the deceased was in receipt of a war pension and their death was caused or hastened by an injury that they incurred while serving, then you may be able to make a claim for funeral costs through Veterans UK.

There are quite complex rules regarding who is eligible for this and claims must be made within three months of the funeral taking place. We can help you with your claim, see our Advice and Advocacy page for more information.

If you are planning a funeral for someone who served in the RAF and you would like to honour the person's service as part of the funeral, the RAF Association provides information on how to go about this.

Need our help?

Enquire about receiving help or call our free support line on 0800 169 2942.

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