Help with paying for a funeral

Funeral Payment from the Social Fund

If you are responsible for paying for a funeral and you or your partner are in receipt of one of the following benefits or tax credits, you may be eligible for a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund:

  • Income Support,
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance,
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
  • Pension Credit,
  • Housing Benefit,
  • Council Tax Benefit (or if the Council Tax payer where you live receives a Second Adult Rebate because you are on low income),
  • Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element,
  • Child Tax Credit at a higher rate than the family element.

The term “partner” in this context means:

  • a person you are married to, or a person you live with as if you are married to them,
  • a civil partner, or person you live with as if you are civil partners.

A Funeral Payment includes the necessary burial or cremation fees plus up to £700 for the funeral director’s charges, coffin and flowers.

A Funeral Payment is a loan from the Social Fund, but will usually only have to be repaid if there is cash in the estate, or property left to anyone who is not the widow, widower or civil partner of the deceased.

For further information, including a downloadable application form, please click here.

Bereavement Payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died, you may be eligible for a Bereavement Payment, which is a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment of £2,000. You may claim if:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner paid sufficient National Insurance contributions, or their death was caused by their employment,
  • you were under State Pension Age when they died, or
  • if you were over State Pension Age, your husband, wife or civil partner was not entitled to receive Category A State Retirement Benefit when they died.

If you are in receipt of State Retirement Pension when your husband, wife or civil partner dies, you do not need to make a claim, as long as the other requirements are met. You will automatically receive the Bereavement Payment when you inform the Department of Work and Pensions of their death.

For further information, including a downloadable application form, please click here.

Further Benefits following a Death

Bereavement Allowance

The Bereavement Allowance is a taxable weekly benefit, payable for up to 52 weeks after the death of your husband, wife or civil partner. You may claim if:

  • you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, aged 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died,
  • you are not bringing up children,
  • you are under State Pension age,
  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid sufficient National Insurance contributions, or if they died as a result of their employment.

For further information, including a downloadable claim form, please click here.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance

Widowed Parent’s Allowance is a weekly payment payable to a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and who has at least one child for whom they receive Child Benefit. You may claim if:

  • you are bringing up a child or young person under the age of 19 (or 20 in some cases, where you are still receiving Child Benefit for that young person),
  • you are under State Pension age,
  • your husband, wife or civil partner paid sufficient National Insurance contributions or died as a result of their employment,
  • you are expecting your late husband’s baby,
  • you are a woman who was living with their late civil partner when they died and you are pregnant as a result of fertility treatment.

For further information, including a downloadable claim form, please click here.

Budgeting Loans

Following lobbying by the National Association of Funeral Directors, the Department for Work and Pensions now accept that certain funeral expenses can be one of the qualifying criteria for applying for a
Budgeting Loan.

You may apply for a Budgeting Loan if you or your partner have been claiming or have been in receipt of one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks:

  • Income Support,
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance,
  • Pension Credit.

You will have to pay a Budgeting Loan back, but there will not be any interest.

For further information, including a downloadable claim form, please click here.