Funeral payments for people on low income
If you are on low income and need help with paying for a funeral, you could be eligible for a Funeral Expense Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Can I get Government help with a funeral payment?
A funeral payment is an amount from the government to help towards funeral costs for those on a low income or certain income-related benefits.
Who qualifies for a government Funeral Payment?
In order to qualify for a Funeral Payment, you will need to meet the qualifying criteria:
- You must be responsible for arranging the funeral
- Get certain benefits or tax credits
- Meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
- Arrange a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area or Switzerland
How much you may get also depends on any other money available, e.g. from an insurance policy or the deceased’s estate. If you do receive money from the deceased estate, your Funeral Payment will be deducted from this. The estate includes any money or property they had, but does not include a house or personal things left to their widow, widower or surviving civil partner.
If there’s a close relative of the deceased who isn’t getting one of the qualifying benefits you may not be able to claim Funeral Payment.
What you'll get
Exactly how much you'll get will depend on your circumstances, although it is unlikely the Funeral Expense Payment will cover all of the costs of the funeral. A Funeral Payment will help to cover some of the costs of a basic funeral including:
- Burial fees for a particular plot
- Cremation fees (including the cost of a doctor's certificate required for cremation)
- Travel to arrange or attend the funeral
- The cost of moving the body within the UK (if it's being moved more than 50 miles)
- Death certificate and any other legal documents required
You can also get up to £700 towards other funeral expenses such as Funeral Director fees, flowers or a coffin.
How to make a claim
You can claim by calling the Bereavement Service Helpline on 0800 731 0469 or downloading a claim form, and sending the completed form by post.
You must apply for the Funeral Expenses Payment within six months of the date of the funeral. You can also make a claim before the funeral if you have an invoice from the Funeral Director, however you cannot claim beforehand if you have only been given an estimate of costs.
How the money is paid
If the Funeral Director has not been paid for the services they have provided, the money is paid directly to them. If the Funeral Director has been paid, the money will be paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.
To find out more information about eligibility and make a claim visit Gov.uk.