Help With Funeral Fees
A guide to Funeral Expenses Payment
4th December 2020 by Mears & Jackson
When arranging a funeral with Mears & Jacksons we will always provide you with a fully itemised estimate of the funeral costs showing our professional fees, the disbursements we pay to third parties on your behalf and any additional services that you have chosen. This estimate needs to be paid in full five days before the funeral.
Help with Funeral Fees
If you need help to pay for a funeral you are arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Expenses Payment from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). Your entitlement depends on the benefits you are getting, your relationship with the person who died and any other money, other than your personal savings, that may be available to help with the cost of the funeral.
Funeral Expenses Payment
The Funeral Expenses Payment will provide help with funeral costs for people on benefits and can be used to cover costs such as:
- Burial fees for a particular plot
- Cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
- Travel to arrange or go to the funeral
- The cost of moving the body within the UK, if it is being moved more than 50 miles
- Death certificates or other documents
You can also get up to £1,000 for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin.
The Funeral Expenses Payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral. How much you get depends on your circumstances - this also includes any other money that is available to cover the costs, for example from an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.
Am I eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment?
You can get a Funeral Expenses Payment if all of the following apply:
- You get certain benefits or tax credits
- You meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
- You are arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
You (or your partner) must receive 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 have applied for these benefits and you are waiting to hear about your claim.
To make a claim, 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 stillborn after 24 weeks or pregnancy
- The parent or person responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)
Making a Funeral Expenses Payment Claim
You must apply within six months of the funeral, even if you are waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit. You can make a claim before the funeral if you have an invoice or signed contact (but not an estimate) from the funeral director - please let us know when you are making the funeral arrangements that you will be making a claim for Funeral Expenses Payment.
You can make Funeral Expenses Payment claim by calling the Bereavement Service helpline, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm:
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
You can also make a claim by post. Complete the claim form (SF200) and send it to the address on the form. The claim form can be downloaded here.
How the Money is Paid
The Funeral Expenses Payment is paid into your bank, building society or credit union account if you have already paid for the funeral. If you have not yet paid for the funeral, the Funeral Expenses Payment will be paid directly to the Funeral Director.