Did you know that if you lost a family member in an untimely accident on South Africa’s roads, that you can claim for funeral expenses within a 3 year period from the time of the accident, with the Road Accident Fund (RAF). The RAF is liable to pay the family member, that is responsible for paying the funeral expenses, of the person who has passed on due to a motor car accident. They are however only liable for the actual costs to cremate or bury the deceased. Let’s look at how you proceed with the RAF and their funeral programme.
What is the RAF funeral programme?
The RAF launched their funeral programme in 2014, where they underwent a tender process with funeral parlours, selecting 24 funeral parlours that the family of the deceased can select from. These funeral parlours can be found in 242 cities or towns, across all 9 of South Africa’s provinces. The reason for the tender process, was because prior to 2014, the system was open for abuse and there was no service level agreement in place with funeral parlours, leaving the RAF unable to enforce standards and a process of management and delivery of the funeral service they were providing. There was also no structure to costs that will be covered at the funerals the RAF were paying to the deceased’s family. This is now a thing of the past.
How do I claim with the RAF?
There are two ways that you can move forward with the RAF, the first is that you accept their panel’s service (the services of the 24 nominated funeral parlours) and the RAF pay for the funeral directly, when the appointed panel submits an invoice for the services rendered. The second is if you do not wish to use the RAF’s panel service and rather make use of your own funeral parlour, you would then need to pay for the funeral and afterwards submit the invoice to the RAF to reimburse you.
The RAF very clearly state what they will pay for when it comes to the funeral costs and the following are them:
- Transportation of the deceased’s body
- The coffin or burial shroud
- Preparation of the deceased’s body, which includes embalming
- Storage of the deceased’s body
- Issuing of a death certificate
- Burial or cremation
- If burial, the hiring of equipment to lower the coffin into the grave and the grave fees
What the RAF will not pay for is the ancillary’s surrounding a funeral and these include catering, flowers, programs, transportation for family (and friends) and a tombstone. This will be for the family’s expense or funeral policy to cover.
When it comes to the process of claiming with the RAF, your mandatory documents you will need to accompany their forms are a copy of the ID of the deceased as well as the ID copy of the family member who will be claiming for the funeral expenses. An affidavit will also need to be provided, covering the details around the accident and confirming your relationship with the deceased.
Depending on if you have paid for the funeral already or if the death is recent, there are other documents you will need to include. These documents are highlighted on www.raf.co.za so make sure that you get everything together, to ensure that you can put in a valid claim with the RAF and that they can pay as soon as possible. You will also find the checklist, serious injury assessment, accident report form and 3rd party claim form for downloading from the RAF’s site.
While you are working through the grief of your sudden loss, know that should you lose your loved one on the roads, you have the Road Accident Fund to lean on to help ease the financial burden you will incur by burying them.