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Help with Costs

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In certain cases, the person responsible for making the deceased’s funeral arrangements may
be eligible for help from the DSS Social Fund. This generally applies if the responsible person
is receiving one or more of the following benefits:

You could get a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) if you get certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging.

If you receive money from the deceased’s estate

Your Funeral Expenses Payment will be deducted from any money you get from the deceased’s estate.

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.

What will you get?

Funeral Expenses Payment can help pay for some of the costs of the following:

  • burial fees for a particular plot
  • cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s fees for cremation certificate
  • travel to arrange or go to the funeral
  • the cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
  • death certificates or other documents

You can also get money for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin. You can get up to:

  • £1,000 if the person died on or after 8 April 2020

The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral.

How much you get depends on your circumstances. This includes any other money that’s available to cover the costs, for example from an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.

Benefits and tax credits you must receive

You (or your partner) must get one or more 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
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

You can still claim Funeral Expenses Payment if you’ve applied for these benefits and you’re waiting to hear about your claim.

If there’s a close relative of the deceased who is not getting one of these benefits, you might not be able to claim Funeral Expenses Payment.

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 or person responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)

You might not get a Funeral Expenses Payment if another close relative of the deceased (such as a sibling or parent) is in work.

 

Make a claim

You must apply within 6 months of the funeral, even if you’re waiting for a decision on a qualifing benefit

You can make a claim before the funeral if you’ve got an invoice or signed contract from the funeral director. It cannot be an estimate.

If you get Universal Credit, you will not get a decision on your claim until after your next payment.

Claim by phone by calling the Bereavement Service helpline.

Bereavement Service helpline

Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language textphone: 0800 731 0456
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469
Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users – check you can use the service
Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm
Find out about call charges

An adviser will also help you claim any other bereavement benefits you might be entitled to.

You can also claim by post. Download and fill in the claim form (SF200), then send it to the address on the form.