Youpla-ACBF funeral benefit program now open
An interim government scheme is offering urgent financial assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by the collapse of funeral insurer, Youpla-ACBF.
Youpla-ACBF went into liquidation in March 2022, leaving thousands of First Nations insurance policyholders without the means to fund family funerals they had paid for.
Over the many years it was allowed to operate, Youpla (formerly known as the 'Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund') was well known for its aggressive sales tactics offering low-value insurance products targeted toward First Nations communities.
Customers were also misled into believing the company was Aboriginal owned and operated, and directly of benefit to their communities.
An estimated $4M in emergency funding is now being made available by the Australian government to ensure Aboriginal families have the opportunity to provide a dignified burial for their loved ones.
The announcement of the program followed a nationwide campaign ('Safe Sorry Business'), which saw 140 organisations including RLC calling on government to compensate victims through a remediation scheme.
The interim scheme will offer urgent assistance to families that need to pay for funerals now.
Under the scheme, people who held policies with Youpla-ACBF policies as of 1 April 2020 will receive a payout for funeral expenses equal to the one they were originally promised by the company.
The support will be available until 30 November 2023.
The program is intended to:
- pay funeral claims relating to a deceased Youpla Group fund member who had an active policy on or after 1 April 2020.
- pay an amount up to the cover limit in the fund member’s policy.
- pay funeral claims received up to 30 November 2023.
For information on how to apply, and to register for updates, visit treasury.gov.au/youpla.
RLC's Credit and Debt team and our First Nations Justice Unit have been engaging in community consultation and outreach to ensure local Aboriginal communities are aware of the changing circumstances, and are offered free legal advice and assistance.