Help with funeral costs

DWP claim, Bereavement Support Fund & Social Fund

When planning or arranging a funeral many people may not be aware of financial assistance they could receive. Financial support can be achieved with the right help and advice but first you may wish to consider exploring the following options:

  • Savings or cash from the person who has passed away
  • Money from a burial club
  • Contributions towards the cost of the funeral from relatives, friends, or charities
  • Occupational pension scheme
  • Insurance Policy
  • Bank, Building or post office account

It is also worth enquiring if the person who died had taken out a pre-paid funeral plan. More and more people are doing this these days as a means of putting their affairs in order, often at the same time as writing or updating their wills.

At Head & Wheble we are transparent about all our prices and can help you explore ways to arrange a personal funeral that fits your annual budget. It’s not uncommon for a family to worry about how they will pay for a funeral. Please discuss any financial concerns you may have with us – we are here to help.

Social Fund Payment 

Help towards the cost of a funeral is available for those dependent on receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit where disability or severe disability element is included in the award.
  • Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element

You might also be eligible if you’re getting a Support for Mortgage Interest loan.

You can still claim Funeral Expenses Payment if you’ve applied for these benefits and you’re waiting to hear about your claim. If there’s a close relative of the deceased who is not getting one of these benefits, you might not be able to claim Funeral Expenses Payment.

Helpline – 0800 731 0469

You must apply within 6 months of the funeral and 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 baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • the parent or person responsible for a deceased child who was under 16 (or under 20 and in approved education or training)

You might not get a Funeral Expenses Payment if another close relative of the deceased (such as a sibling or parent) is in work.

Bereavement Support Payment

The Bereavement Support Payment provides a one-off lump sum payment and then up to 18 monthly payments and now extends eligibility for these payments to those people under the age of 45 years.

There are two rates of support with Bereavement Support Payments:

For claimants with dependent children or who are pregnant:

£3,500 lump sum payment and then up to 18 monthly payments of £350

For claimants without dependent children and are not pregnant:

£2,500 lump sum payment and then up to 18 monthly payments of £100

Helpline – 0345 6088601

A translation service is provided on both Helplines for those persons whose first language may not be English.

  • All claimants must have been married to or in a civil partnership with the deceased. There are no payments for those people living together as a couple without being married or in a civil partnership, regardless of whether they have children or not.
  • The deceased spouse or civil partner must usually have paid National Insurance; however, contribution requirements have been reduced under the new system.
  • Bereavement Support Payments are not means-tested, are tax-free and do not affect existing means-tested benefits claims.
  • The age limit of 45 years has been removed, allowing younger bereaved partners access to the payments for the first time.
  • Marrying, cohabiting or entering a civil partnership will not affect the eligibility to continue to receive Bereavement Support Payments.
  • To claim the full amount you must apply within 3 months. You can claim up until 21 months after the death but you’ll get fewer monthly payments.

If you are recently bereaved and are eligible to make a claim we will help and guide you on completing the correct paperwork and forms at no cost.