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Assistance With Funeral Costs

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 27 Aug 2018 | 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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I have borrowed money to pay for mums funeral and have been told i cant get any help because my brother gets state pension not pension credit! My partner and i get pension credit am struggling to pay this money back what can i do?
Susy - 27-Aug-18 @ 10:26 AM
Hi, my step daughters mother has died. She is just 9 years old. Can I get help with the funeral and does anyone give grants to the children for her death? Her mother has no money and no savings or estate and we are at a loss of what to do
Athena - 12-Jul-18 @ 10:14 AM
hi i am on benefits and recently my eldest brother passed away after a short illness is there any help i can get to help me with my own expenses for example i dont have anything decent to wear for the funeral plus i cannot afford a wreath and also i dont drive and the cost to get to the funeral is expensive as its nearly 200 miles from where i live
colin - 14-Jun-18 @ 10:37 PM
Sarah - Your Question:
How long does it take to recieve a reply once youve sent form for funeral expenses payment?

Our Response:
We don't know this unfortunately. I Here are some contact details that might help you:
Call 0800 731 0469- The lines are open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, except public holidays. Calls to 0800 are free from landlines and mobiles
FacingBereavement - 5-Jun-18 @ 12:19 PM
How long does it take to recieve a reply once youve sent form for funeral expenses payment?
Sarah - 4-Jun-18 @ 1:30 PM
My dad passed away yesterday I'm on benefits so was he and p.i.p,how can i pay for the funeral I have no money n there's no money or assist left from dad?HELP
Char - 2-Jun-18 @ 3:39 PM
My father's brother died two days ago in hospital. He was diagonosed with cancer only three weeks ago. He lived alone and was on benefits, he had no money in his bank account. My father and his sister are the next of kin. My father is a pensioner and has trouble getting by with the funds he has, he is not in de position of being able to pay for the funeral, not even half of it. I live abroad and am trying to get as much informatie and help as I can for them. It is difficult though when you don't live in the same country. I hope you can help me. Is there a possibilty that my father and his sister are able to get a Funeral Payment in any way? A reply a.s.a.p. would be very much appreciated as the funeral has to be arranged within the next few days.
KJ - 31-May-18 @ 9:22 PM
My brother passed away 8wks ago leaving 3,800 in his account.My other brother who lived with him is now been told he has to pay from his account of £6,000.He is on p.i.p and his money will one day pay for his funeral and for anything he needs to aid his mobility so any help would be appreciated. Myself and my older sister are on pensions so we cant di much to help.
Posy - 31-May-18 @ 6:33 PM
I have befriended an 88 yr old lady who lost her 43 yr old daughter in tragic circumstances last June.The funeral took place in July last year and Mrs D was told the cost would come from the deceased’s estate. Solicitors have been advising her from the outset. She was never told she would be eligible for a support bereavement grant and the 3 month rule deadline has king passed. There is absolutely nothing from the estate. The mortgaged house has been voluntarily given back to the building society as it was negative equity.Is there ANYWHERE this old lady can apply for help with the £5000 funeral costs.She is on benefits, is low income and has no savings.
Ellie - 27-Apr-18 @ 3:20 PM
mum was on pension credirs can we apply fir a gran as she has no money un her estate Debbie
Debbie ELLIOTT - 12-Apr-18 @ 7:07 PM
Mjoneee - Your Question:
Hi my brother passed away the other day. He was homeless and was on benefits not sure what he was getting. He was an alcoholic none of the family have money to pay for the cost of the funeral would this be paid for?

Our Response:
Here's information about funeral cost help - you could also try Turn2 us or talk to your local council.
FacingBereavement - 2-Feb-18 @ 10:14 AM
Hi my brother passed away the other day. He was homeless and was on benefits not sure what he was getting. He was an alcoholic none of the family have money to pay for the cost of the funeral would this be paid for?
Mjoneee - 31-Jan-18 @ 9:38 AM
broggy - Your Question:
Hi just wanted to ask my neice s son passed away on the 16th jan 2018 and just wonderd if she would be able to get any help with funeral cost both parents are working just wanted to know would they be entitled to any kind of help

Our Response:
If both parents are working it's unlikely they'll be entitled to assistance but here are details of the eligibility criteria . They could also check the Turn 2 Us website
FacingBereavement - 23-Jan-18 @ 11:11 AM
hi just wanted to ask my neice s son passed awayon the 16th jan 2018 and just wonderd if she would be able to get any help with funeral cost both parents are working just wanted to know would they be entitled to any kind of help
broggy - 20-Jan-18 @ 2:09 AM
Our mum passed away on the 13/1/18 I am just wondering if there is any help out there to cover the funeral cost me and my sister are both on benefits as was my mum just wondering if there is help the costs is 3700 In total the funeral grant from DPW only covers so much towards it please any help????
Carolyn - 18-Jan-18 @ 11:23 AM
Emma pilkington - Your Question:
My boyfriends brother passed away 11/12/2017 unexpectedly. He was only 36 years old. The family are now worried about funeral costs as they have been quoted £3700 for buriel funeral. They don't have any savings and his brother who passed away had no saving or money. We all work full time but just can't come up with the funds so soon. Is there anywhere we can get advise or help.

Our Response:
Unfortunately it's unlikely that he/his family will be eligible for funeral payment as anyone claiming must be in receipt of certain benefits like income support etc. You could ask at your local council to see if there are any local payments available - although these too, are likely to be means tested. The funeral director might have options for payment plans etc.
FacingBereavement - 20-Dec-17 @ 12:45 PM
My boyfriends brother passed away 11/12/2017 unexpectedly. He was only 36 years old. The family are now worried about funeral costs as they have been quoted £3700 for buriel funeral. They don't have any savings and his brother who passed away had no saving or money. We all work full time but just can't come up with the funds so soon. Is there anywhere we can get advise or help.
Emma pilkington - 19-Dec-17 @ 4:23 PM
RLS - Your Question:
My father passed away the other day (nov 30th 2017). This was so sudden! He was only 56 years old. My parents both retired early and relocated to the south of Spain to live the life of Riley. They were only here for 2 years until his tragic death occurred. I am still in shock now. It has come to light that my father did not get round to writing a will nor did he have life insurance. Is there anything I can do to help my mum? The whole family is broken and confused with what to do right now. The hospital have already cremated my father and it is going to cost at least €2500 to have his ashes released. The Spainish culture also don’t hold funeral services. I have flown out to be with my mum now, but I feel so angry that I never had the chance to say goodbye to my dad before they could cremated him. Would my mum be entitled to my dads pension that he paid into for at least 20+ years?

Our Response:
Under UK law, your mother would automatically inherit most of your father's estate/possessions etc. Contact his pension provider to see whether your motrher is entitled to any of it on death of the holder. Is there an ex-pats association near to your mother? Perhaps someone there can point you in the direction of additional support. The British Embassy might also be worth contacting.
FacingBereavement - 4-Dec-17 @ 2:43 PM
My father passed away the other day (nov 30th 2017). This was so sudden! He was only 56 years old. My parents both retired early and relocated to the south of Spain to live the life of Riley. They were only here for 2 years until his tragic death occurred. I am still in shock now. It has come to light that my father did not get round to writing a will nor did he have life insurance. Is there anything I can do to help my mum? The whole family is broken and confused with what to do right now. The hospital have already cremated my father and it is going to cost at least €2500 to have his ashes released. The Spainish culture also don’t hold funeral services. I have flown out to be with my mum now, but I feel so angry that I never had the chance to say goodbye to my dad before they could cremated him. Would my mum be entitled to my dads pension that he paid into for at least 20+ years?
RLS - 3-Dec-17 @ 11:24 PM
Gilly - Your Question:
Mum died recently were short 500.00 pounds after everything paid out, I'm a pensioner and so is my husband are we entitled to any help from the goverment

Our Response:
This will depend upon whether your eligibile for funeral payment - take a look here
FacingBereavement - 17-Oct-17 @ 11:16 AM
Mum died recently were short 500.00 pounds after everything paid out, I'm a pensioner and so is my husband are we entitled to any help from the goverment
Gilly - 16-Oct-17 @ 11:51 AM
I lost my hubby to be on the 6.7.2017 I had to get help to pay for it but it did not cover it as the benefits only pay half of it n still need 113,000 to finish paying for as I am on benefits tooI have no one to help to finish off paying n the ashs still need to be do yet is there any more help out there plzs as I would love to now so I can lay Ron to rest with is mum n dad Ron was only 66 when he passed away at home n I am still finding it hard I missing him like mad I just cry all the time n can't eat
Babygirl - 17-Sep-17 @ 9:18 PM
DK - Your Question:
I lost my mum 3 years ago very suddenly, I claimed for the funeral payment which didn't cover the funeral costs. At the time there wasn't any funds left to bury mums ashes and to this day I still have them, I feel that the time is now right to lay her to rest but the costs are going to be over £1000! I'm on benefits including severe disability premium, is there any extra help that I can apply for to help with the cost? Thankyou

Our Response:
Wwe don't know of any specific grants for this, especially as you have already claimed funeral allowance. You could try asking at your local council or check out the Turn2 Us grants search facility
FacingBereavement - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:23 PM
I lost my mum 3 years ago very suddenly, I claimed for the funeral payment which didn't cover the funeral costs. At the time there wasn't any funds left to bury mums ashes and to this day I still have them, I feel that the time is now right to lay her to rest but the costs are going to be over £1000! I'm on benefits including severe disability premium, is there any extra help that I can apply for to help with the cost? Thankyou
DK - 9-Sep-17 @ 10:14 AM
Mum passed away 12/8/17. I am next of kin but not receiving any benefits but also not working, I have a sibling that is also not working nor on benefits as he is a student. We have both been told we are not eligible for help. I live with my partner who works but does not earn enough to pay for us both to live and then pay for a funeral too. Surely there is some sort of help for me or my brother? What do I do?
Missljg - 6-Sep-17 @ 6:29 PM
My mum died unexpectedly me and my siblings applied for a bereavement payment as we are unable to raise the money to pay for her funeral my 2 younger siblings are on a zero hour contract I receive pip my older brother is on benefits yet we have been refused help due to my siblings are working yet they don't earn much due to the zero hour contract can we appeal the outcome
scatty - 31-Aug-17 @ 6:00 PM
hi my mother passed away last year and im struggerling to her a headatone could i have some help please
love.your.mother - 22-Aug-17 @ 3:33 PM
Eddie - Your Question:
Hi my brother in law has to bury a man who was raised by his mum and dad now both deceased he is not a true brother or blood related or adopted or fostered he's been told he's not allowed any payment to help with funeral costs is this true or can he get a grant to bury him thankyou Eddie

Our Response:
The rules for funeral payment would mean he isn't eligible, but it might be worth popping along to Citizens' Advice or trying the Turn 2 Us website to see if there is any other means of help.
FacingBereavement - 15-Aug-17 @ 2:01 PM
Bags - Your Question:
My partner of 32 years passes away and I'm being told that I'm not entitled to the funeral costs even though I'm ON dla please help

Our Response:
You can find out about eligibility for funeral payment here... we don't have enough information about your circumstances to tell you whether or not you should receive this or not.
FacingBereavement - 14-Aug-17 @ 2:37 PM
Hi my brother in law has to bury a man who was raised by his mum and dad now both deceased he is not a true brother or blood related or adopted or fostered he's been told he's not allowed any payment to help with funeral costs is this true or can he get a grant to bury him thankyou Eddie
Eddie - 13-Aug-17 @ 9:19 PM
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