What is it?
If you're on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you're arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment to help meet certain funeral costs. The payment covers the necessary costs of a simple and respectful funeral (for example burial or cremation fees) as well as up to help with other expenses such as a coffin and funeral directors’ fees.
The help for other expenses is £700 for deaths before 8 April 2020 and £1,000 for deaths on or after this date.
A Funeral Payment is a one-off payment. The person paying for the funeral won’t have to pay it back but it may be reclaimed from the deceased’s estate if there is enough money.
If you live in Scotland the payment became the Funeral Support Payment in September 2019 and you will need to claim this instead.
Can I get it?
To be able to get a Funeral Payment you must also be either:
- the partner of the deceased when they died
- the parent of the deceased child, or have been responsible for the deceased child (and there is no absent parent) (unless they are getting one of the above qualifying benefits or were estranged from the child at the date of death)
- the parent of a still-born child
- a close relative or close friend of the deceased (and it is reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral costs)
Funeral Payment eligibility
As well as your 'relationship' to the deceased, you or your partner must be getting one of the following benefits or tax credits:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
- Child Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
The term 'partner' is used here to mean:
- a person you are married to, or 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
Who isn't eligible?
You can't get a payment as a close relative or close friend of the deceased if either:
- the deceased had a partner when they died
- there's a parent, son or daughter of the deceased who has not been awarded one of the qualifying benefits or was not estranged from the deceased - this doesn't include family members who are: aged under 18, qualifying young persons for the purposes of Child Benefit, full-time students, members of religious orders, in prison or in hospital (and who had been awarded a qualifying benefit immediately before they entered prison or hospital), asylum seekers being supported by the National Asylum Support Service or family members not ordinarily resident in the UK
- there's a close relative of the deceased, other than a close relative in one of the excluded groups listed above, who was in closer contact with the deceased than you were, or had equally close contact and is not getting a qualifying benefit.
How do I claim?
Alternatively you can ask for a Funeral Payment claim form by contacting your local Jobcentre Plus office. The form comes with notes to help you fill it in. Once you have completed the form please send or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus office.
You must claim within six months of the date of the funeral.