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Funeral expenses

The Charity may be able to consider helping with the costs of a funeral where either the deceased person or the person responsible for the funeral meet our eligibility principles.

When considering a payment towards a funeral we need to confirm that:

  • There is insufficient estate, insurance or savings to cover the total cost
  • Where applicable, a funeral payment has been applied for from the Social Fund

Our financial assistance towards funerals is limited to funerals held in the UK only, up to £3,000 and for one funeral per person making an application.

We do not provide assistance towards headstones or other post funeral memorials.

In the case of repatriation of bodies after death, the Charity will offer eligible people costs for funerals held in the UK up to a maximum of £3,000, but no repatriation costs.

If you are making an application, you’ll need to tell us:

  • Is there an estate?
  • Is there any insurance to cover the costs of the funeral?
  • Did the deceased person have any savings?
  • Are you eligible for a payment from the Social Fund?
  • Is another relative / family member / responsible person eligible for payment from the Social Fund?

If the funeral account has already been settled, you must show that you were responsible for paying for the funeral and that you incurred debt to do so. You need to apply to the Charity within nine months of the date of the funeral. 

If you’re responsible for paying for the funeral and you live abroad the Charity’s help is limited to £1,000.

Funeral payments from the Social Fund

You could get a funeral payment if you’re on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging. How much you get depends on your circumstances and if you qualify.

You’ll usually have to pay back any money you get from the deceased person’s estate (if they have one). The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The funeral payment can help pay for burial fees and exclusive rights to burial in a particular plot; cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate; up to £700 for funeral expenses, e.g. funeral director’s fees, flowers, coffin; travel to arrange or go to the funeral; the costs for moving the body within the UK - but only for the part of the journey that’s over 50 miles.

If the person who died had a pre-paid funeral plan, you’ll only get help for items not covered by the plan. You can find the full list of what can be included in the funeral payment in claim form SF200.

To get a Funeral Payment you must be responsible for the funeral and claim in time, get certain benefits or tax credits and meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased. You must be one of the following:

  • The partner of the deceased when they died
  • A close relative or close friend of the deceased
  • The parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The parent of the deceased child, if they were under 16 (or under 20 and not in full-time education)

You (or your partner) must get one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • The disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • One of the extra elements of Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

The rules are different if the person died outside the UK.

For further information the contact details of the DWP Bereavement Service are:

  • Telephone: 0800 731 0469
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0464
  • Telephone (Welsh): 0800 731 0453
  • Textphone (Welsh): 0800 731 0456

You can also find details on the website.

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For confidential support and advice call 0800 056 2424 Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm