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Assistance With Funeral Costs

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 20 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Funeral funeral Payment social Fund

It is often a surprise to people how expensive funerals can become. Though the ultimate price will depend upon a variety of options upwards of £2,000 is not entirely uncommon to pay for a full funeral and burial (or cremation). Some people choose to pre-pay for their funerals so that they do not leave a financial burden for their family members, but sometimes family members are caught unaware and must cover the cost themselves then wait to see if they can be reimbursed from the deceased’s estate. For individuals on low incomes, this extra cost can be catastrophic. A one-off Funeral Payment from the Social Fund may be available to help low-income families cope with these expenses.

Funeral Payment

A one-off Funeral Payment may be available to help with funeral costs if the person who has applied for the payment meets certain criteria. The criteria will take into account the applicant’s existing benefits, his or her relationship to the deceased and the presence or absence of funds to pay for the funeral independently. In general, individuals who receive (or have partners who receive) Income Support, (income-based) Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, some forms of Working Tax Credit, or some higher rates of Child Tax Credit may be eligible to receive a one-off Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. However, these individuals will likely need to be either the spouse or civil partner of the deceased, the parent or guardian of the deceased, or a friend or relative so close to the deceased that it is reasonable that (s)he has accepted the responsibility of organising the funeral. The applicant will also need to confirm that the death occurred in the UK and that the funeral will take place in the UK in order to be considered for Funeral Payment.

Claiming Funeral Payment

Applications for Funeral Payment must be made via the Funeral Payment claim form which is available at every local Jobcentre Plus and/or social security office. This application may be made from the date of death but within three months of the death. If a claim is approved, the Funeral Payment will most likely cover all burial or cremation fees, as well as up to £700 for further funeral expenses such as the cost of a funeral director, coffin and/or flowers. These extras will only be covered, however, if any pre-paid funeral plans do not already cover them. Funeral Payment will most likely be issued via cheque to the applicant, though in the funeral director’s name. If an application for Funeral Payment is denied, or the applicant feels that it has been incorrectly calculated, then (s)he may appeal the decision. If (s)he is still unhappy with the outcome of the appeal, (s)he may then appeal to an Appeal Tribunal for further consideration.

Repaying Funeral Payment

Though Funeral Payment may be approved in certain cases, any payment made must be repaid if the deceased’s estate can cover it. This estate includes any property or other assets, as well as money saved, owed by or owed to the deceased. It does not, however, necessarily include any personal items that the deceased left to family or friends. The Social Fund will contact the person in charge of the funeral or executing/administering the estate after a Funeral Payment has been made to discuss the estate and repayment of funeral costs to the Social Fund.

The cost of a funeral with burial or cremation can be high, and many low income families are unable to cover these costs. Funeral Payment from the Social Fund can help qualifying families cover these costs. More information about Funeral Payment is available from all local Jobcentre Plus offices as well as social service offices.

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Hi I'm an 18 year old full time university student my mum died suddenly on the 7th febuary, the government are refusing to help me out because I don't claim any benifits is there any other way or organisation that can help me please.
Jade - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:39 AM
Good afternoon My grandmother has just past away on 28th ofJanuary. I would like to ask what support can I get for funeral cost asi was not wasn't expecting her death. So I would need some help with cost by friday 3rdof Feb.
Kacenka_xx - 31-Jan-17 @ 5:40 PM
DHood - Your Question:
My mum has just died and I am confused as to any help I may receive towards funeral expenses. I was in receipt of carers allowance and have looked after her for the last 6 years. I have no other personal income and my mum left nothing. My husband does work but all his money goes towards normal household expenses. Can I get any help?

Our Response:
Here are the details of eligibilty requirements for the funeral allowance payment
FacingBereavement - 10-Jan-17 @ 12:13 PM
My mum has just died and I am confused as to any help I may receive towards funeral expenses. I was in receipt of carers allowance and have looked after her for the last 6 years. I have no other personal income and my mum left nothing. My husband does work but all his money goes towards normal household expenses. Can I get any help?
DHood - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:37 PM
Milly - Your Question:
My son died suddenly aged 56 I used my savings £1800 the funeral is 4700 I rang income support she said I wouldn't get help because I gave the undertaker the 1800 I'm on pension credits and my son was on disability. I don't know what I'm going to do

Our Response:
The government funeral payment usually helps 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, such as 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"
Speak to the funeral director and see if there is a way to reduce the costs. They will also be able to help you with details of organisations you can turn to for financial advice/assistance. Some funeral directors also offer payment plans. You might be able to get a one off payment from another charitable organisation. Take a look at the Turn2Us website
FacingBereavement - 8-Dec-16 @ 12:02 PM
My son died suddenly aged 56 I used my savings £1800 the funeral is 4700 I rang income supportshe said I wouldn't get help because I gave the undertaker the 1800 I'm on pension credits and my son was on disability. I don't know what I'm going to do
Milly - 5-Dec-16 @ 2:20 PM
AR - Your Question:
My mum had a prepaid funeral plan which paid for her cremation funeralI am on Esa is there anything I can claim back towards further costs

Our Response:
You may be entitled to a Funeral Payment (see here) from the government. This is sometimes a loan that has to be paid back from the estate.
FacingBereavement - 24-Nov-16 @ 2:38 PM
My mum had a prepaid funeral plan which paid for her cremation funeral I am on Esa is there anything I can claim back towards further costs
AR - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:06 PM
Kyle - Your Question:
Hi, I'm not sure who I am writing but it has helped me a little just to write. My 2 yr old daughter, Alexis, drowned in my parents pool last year. I was not present at the accident. This has trully been the most difficult time of my life. The pain is unreal. The 1st several months after the death, was hard to get through the day. I ended up quiting my job and finding myself alone in my house absolutly miserable.my father and I have gotten through this the best we can taking things second by second and day by day, but my mother unfortunately was in a depression she could not get out of. She blamed herself for the drowning of my daughter and I dont know why. My mom died 2 weeks ago from ill depression. once again, losing my 2 year old daughter was hard enough and now my mom passed away.Her, Brenda Wenning and my father Larry, have raised 6 extra foster care siblings after raising us 6 biological children and ended up adopting all 6. My parents are trully blessed and my dad is lost with bills. We need help with funeral bills or anything for a smile. Thank you for listening. please help. Im financially unstable at this time.

Our Response:
First see if you're eligible for any bereavement payments here. Also try the bereavement charities like CRUSE
FacingBereavement - 24-Oct-16 @ 11:47 AM
Hi, I'm not sure who I am writing but it has helped me a little just to write. My 2 yr old daughter, Alexis, drowned in my parents pool last year. I was not present at the accident. This has trully been the most difficult time of my life. The pain is unreal. The 1st several months after the death, was hard to get through the day. I ended up quiting my job and finding myself alone in my house absolutly miserable...my father and I have gotten through this the best we can taking things second by second and day by day, but my mother unfortunately was in a depression she could not get out of. She blamed herself for the drowning of my daughter and i dont know why. My mom died 2 weeks ago from ill depression. once again, losing my 2 year old daughter was hard enough and now my mom passed away.Her, Brenda Wenning and my father Larry, have raised 6 extra foster care siblings after raising us 6 biological children and ended up adopting all 6. My parents are trully blessed and my dad is lost with bills. We need help with funeral bills or anything for a smile. Thank you for listening. please help. Im financially unstable at this time.
Kyle - 22-Oct-16 @ 12:43 PM
my mum died 14 year ago and we paid for a plot for 3 people to be buried, now my dad has died and he is going in mums grave, what costs will we need to pay out????
jules - 16-Sep-16 @ 4:57 PM
Tinyt - Your Question:
My mum died years ago age 51. Now my dad was disabled I've helped him everyday for the last 8yrs. And we need help. I'm a single mum age 39 with 2 kids.no othe family. I asked the school, social services, Dr they are now all sorry but sorry won't help me and bring my dad back. I don't know what to do my life is so sad I find it hard to get my hear round it. they all want to help now his not here I have no money and could lost my house with out my cares money. I can't do the funeral as I don't want to let him go. And I don't have the money what do I do. I've called the dwp but I don't know I can't agree to a funeral when I can't afford it and don't know

Our Response:
You could try the Cruse Helpline on0808 808 1677. They should be able to talk you through the practicalities and help you deal with the emotional side of things.
FacingBereavement - 23-Aug-16 @ 11:47 AM
My mum died years ago age 51. Now my dad was disabled I've helped him everyday for the last 8yrs. And we need help. I'm a single mum age 39 with 2 kids..no othe family.I asked the school, social services, Dr they are now all sorry but sorry won't help me and bring my dad back. I don't know what to do my life is so sad I find it hard to get my hear round it.. they all want to help now his not here I have no money and could lost my house with out my cares money.. I can't do the funeral as I don't want to let him go. And I don't have the money what do I do. I've called the dwp but I don't know I can't agree to a funeral when I can't afford it and don't know
Tinyt - 20-Aug-16 @ 11:45 AM
My Mum died 2 months ago of cancer & had no savings or insurance.My sister managed to pay for the funeral but we are now struggling to find the money to pay for a resting place ie ashes scattered & headstone or anything else. I am on benfits but my sister isn't.Would I still be able to claim help from the government for this part if funeral costs?
Trish - 19-Aug-16 @ 8:19 PM
As my friend is an undertaker and has not been paid for a funeral is he able to check with anyone whether or not a payment has been made in respect of the deceased. As payments are made direct to the undertaker I would assume so. I worked for the DWP and to the best of my knowledge a payment would be appropriate.and as no names are mentioned I am not asking for an individual case but generally. Many Thanks John Williams
JIM - 26-Jul-16 @ 6:20 PM
Query - Your Question:
Please can someone answer my question - Does this help towards funeral costs - the £700 extras - include for the wake? I had to pay for food and the venue to the tune of over £1000 and I am rather broke. I had no choice but to do so because I live in a small flat and so could not host the do myself. This was the cheapest option for sixty guests. Secondly, I paid for the order of service cards to be printed and a photograph to be framed for the service, which cost a further £150.

Our Response:
This depends on your personal financial circumstances and how much was the in the estate of the deceased. Check out the Government Information here
FacingBereavement - 28-Jun-16 @ 12:32 PM
Please can someone answer my question - Does this help towards funeral costs - the £700 extras - include for the wake? I had to pay for food and the venue to the tune of over £1000 and I am rather broke. I had no choice but to do so because I live in a small flat and so could not host the do myself. This was the cheapest option for sixty guests. Secondly, I paid for the order of service cards to be printed and a photograph to be framed for the service, which cost a further £150.
Query - 26-Jun-16 @ 6:52 PM
I lost my mam at the age of 56 she had no life insurance and would like to no if you can help she had cancer for 2 year
char - 16-May-16 @ 6:10 PM
my brother who was born I 1942 disabled , I came along in November 1944 as my father died in august 1944 my brother,he worked for ten years as a disable person but they enable to work again so he was 50 yearsat least .he was diognised with cancer in November but sadly passed away on 22 nd February. my brother had no insurance because off my mother being a a widow for so long with little money is he entitled to full claim
cobblers - 18-Apr-16 @ 8:26 AM
tshwana - Your Question:
Hi my uncle passed away and I have been trying to get help with no help the undertaker want 3700 for the coffin please help me to bury him

Our Response:
The deceased's estate will sometimes pay for the funeral costs. You could also try applying for a bereavement payment.
FacingBereavement - 6-Apr-16 @ 12:39 PM
Hi my uncle passed away and I have been trying to get help with no help the undertaker want 3700 for the coffin please help me to bury him
tshwana - 4-Apr-16 @ 5:58 AM
Hello I have been turn down with help for my son who passed away my husband works and on very low wage we get working tax credit's I do not work we just about pay bills shall ask them to look at it again x
Tracey - 19-Mar-16 @ 8:56 PM
My uncle suddenly passed away at age 67 leaving him wife with no imcome at all.Unfortunetly no way to pay to bury him was a burden on his wife that she cannot bare.I am asking please someone out there whom cares to reach out to her.Here name is Betty McCall and his name was Lonnie McCall.Thank you for reading. my number is 918-734-5485. My name is Denise and Im the Niece.
Dee - 27-Feb-16 @ 6:59 PM
Avonvale funeral services based in Rugby Warwickshire do a nationwide direct cremation funeral including the return of the ashes in a casket for £1100 fully inclusive of all fees ,This company will help families claim funeral expenses grants from the DWP social fund,Avonvale Funeral Services have a website with information about their services and they can be contacted by Telephoning 01788297011, they also have a mobile 24 hour helpline 07411235126.
FUNERAL FRIEND - 24-Feb-16 @ 7:55 AM
I am on benefits and pension credit and my children will no it be in a position to pay for me funeral. Only one is on benefits. What will happen please?
Nutmeg - 11-Feb-16 @ 6:28 PM
Nannyann - Your Question:
My sister died last April she was alcoholic but died of cancer there was no will and no estate she was on benefits she has three children aged31,29,and25 they were not in touch with there mother for some years as the youngest two were in care the two eldest girls reconciled with her but her son didn't when she died the girls were distraught and in no fit state to talk to the funeral director so I did it on their behalf he came to see me at home I thought there would be no problem about the bill because both girls where in receipt of benefits the youngest one was receiving carers allowance for her mother so she was putting in for the payment weeks passed and the funeral director kept ringing me for an update even though he had there addresses and phone numbers after a while my hubby got sick of him bothering me as it was making me ill the funeral director then started getting in touch with the daughters who haven't replied to him as far as I know the payment was refused but I don't know because they never showed me any proof the result is he has passed it on to a debt collection agency who have wrote to me I am at my wits end as I am a pensioner and so is my hubby I haven't got that sort of money and my hubby never got on with my sister and is adamant he is not paying for her funeral I haven't told him about the letter of the debt collection agency because he will go berserk with me is there anything I can do to pass it back to my nieces.

Our Response:
Usually the next of kin would be responsible for any debts but as you organised the funeral it's understandable that this is why it's been passed to you. Firstly, you might want to see whether any funeral costs could be paid.Check this goverment page secondly, take the bill to your nearest Citizen's Advice Bureau with details of all the next of kin etc. Hopefully they will be able to contact the debt collection agency on your behalf and put a hold on it whilst it's sorted out.
FacingBereavement - 10-Feb-16 @ 11:57 AM
My sister died last April she was alcoholic but died of cancer there was no will and no estate she was on benefits she has three children aged31,29,and25 they were not in touch with there mother for some years as the youngest two were in care the two eldest girls reconciled with her but her son didn't when she died the girls were distraught and in no fit state to talk to the funeral director so I did it on their behalf he came to see me at home I thought there would be no problem about the bill because both girls where in receipt of benefits the youngest one was receiving carers allowance for her mother so she was putting in for the payment weeks passed and the funeral director kept ringing me for an update even though he had there addresses and phone numbers after a while my hubby got sick of him bothering me as it was making me ill the funeral director then started getting in touch with the daughters who haven't replied to him as far as i know the payment was refused but i don't know because they never showed me any proof the result is he has passed it on to a debt collection agency who have wrote to me I am at my wits end as I am a pensioner and so is my hubby I haven't got that sort of money and my hubby never got on with my sister and is adamant he is not paying for her funeral I haven't told him about the letter of the debt collection agency because he will go berserk with me is there anything I can do to pass it back to my nieces .
Nannyann - 8-Feb-16 @ 5:36 PM
Andy - Your Question:
Hiya my mum passed away in November. I work and I lived with my mother at the time of death, but my brother who is still really close to us but doesn't live with us and is on JSA applied for the social funeral payment. It has been recently reject is it worth appealing or has it it been rejected because I work full time?? Any help would be appreciated thanks.

Our Response:
All close relatives are expected to contribute and as you are working, that will be the reason for the payment being rejected. Funeral payment is only for cases where there is nobody else to pay for the funeral.
FacingBereavement - 26-Jan-16 @ 2:29 PM
Hiya my mum passed away in November. I work and I lived with my mother at the time of death, but my brother who is still really close to us but doesn't live with us and is on JSA applied for the social funeral payment. It has been recently reject is it worth appealing or has it it been rejected because I work full time?? Any help would be appreciated thanks.
Andy - 25-Jan-16 @ 7:05 PM
carly - Your Question:
Hi, at just under 24 weeks pregnant I gave birth to my son, he was born alive but didnt make it to the end of the day. I recieved a funeral payment from my local jobcentre which helped greatly towards the funeral expenses, its been 2 long years and I am struggling paying for my sons headstone, ive managed to pay £400 in that time however there is still a balance of £612 left which I am finding it next to impossible to pay, I have tried loan after loan but am finding myself falling further into debt, it hurts so much the fact I cant give my son the only thing I can get for him, is there any help I can get? Thankyou

Our Response:
There's no government help for headstones. You could try one of the bereavement charities such as:
Tommy's
SANDS
Lily Mae Foundation
FacingBereavement - 13-Jan-16 @ 12:55 PM
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