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If you’re concerned about paying for a funeral for a loved one you might be able to get financial help from the government. Here, we’ll take you through the grants you could get if you’re on benefits and if you’re not. Hopefully, it’ll help you find the support you need to cover funeral costs.  

Do you get help with funeral costs if you’re on benefits? 

Yes. You should be able to get help with funeral costs from the government if you’re on benefits. 

Check your eligibility using the info below before making any funeral plans. This will help you budget and make sure you’ll receive the money you need to help cover the costs. 

How DWP helps with funeral costs for people on benefits 

Funeral expenses payment 

If you get benefits from the government you may be able to claim a funeral expenses payment. This is a grant from the government that you don’t have to pay back that’ll cover some of the essentials you need for a funeral. You could make this type of funeral benefit claim if you get one of the following: 

  • Universal credit 
  • Income support 
  • Jobseeker’s allowance 
  • Employment and support allowance 
  • Housing credit 
  • Pension credit 
  • Child tax credit 
  • Working tax credit 

Read our guide to the funeral expenses payment and see if you’ll be able to get help with funeral costs from DWP. 

Our guide to the funeral expenses payment covers: 

  • Who is eligible for the payment 
  • What the funeral benefit covers 
  • How much you’ll receive 
  • How to make the funeral benefit claim 
  • How long it takes for the money to come through 

Find out more

Budgeting loan 

A budgeting loan from the government is interest-free and could help with funeral costs if you’re on benefits. You’ll be eligible for the budgeting loan if you’ve been getting one or more of these benefits for 6 months or longer: 

  • Income support 
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance 
  • Income-related employment and support allowance 
  • Pension credit 
      

You’re not eligible for the budgeting loan if: 

  • You receive universal credit 
  • You’re on strike or involved in a walkout 
  • You receive the new style jobseekers allowance or new style employment and support allowance 
  • You already owe £1,500 or more for previous budgeting loans or crisis loans from the government 
      

You’ll only have to pay back what you borrow. This will be taken from your benefits automatically. Your automatic repayments will be based on what’s affordable for you but you’ll need to pay it back within 2 years. 

You can apply online or using the paper form SF500

Can you get help with funeral costs if you’re not on benefits? 

Yes, you can get government help with funeral costs if you’re not on benefits. But there’s still rules about who can apply. Read more about the different ways you could get help with funeral costs from DWP below.  

How DWP helps with funeral costs if you’re not on benefits 

Bereavement support payment 

Whether you’re on benefits or not, you might be eligible for the bereavement support payment. This financial help is intended for those who’ve lost their spouse, civil partner, or partner that they live with and have children with. To receive this type of funeral benefit you must have been under the state pension age when your partner passed away. 

You can apply for the payment if your partner: 

  • Paid national insurance for at least 25 weeks in one tax year 
  • Or if they passed away because of an accident at work or disease caused by work 
      

If you claim within 3 months of your partner’s death you should be able to get the full amount. 

For more info on whether you can make this claim to help with funeral costs from DWP, read our guide to the bereavement support payment

Our guide to the bereavement support payment covers: 

  • Who is eligible 
  • How much you’ll receive 
  • Rules on backdated payments 
  • How to make the funeral benefit claim 

[Find out more] 

Children’s funeral fund for England 

You can get help with funeral costs for a child whether you’re on benefits or not. Your income or your savings won’t affect what you get either. To be eligible, you must hold the burial or cremation in England. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland this financial support is not available. But if you live in Wales you don’t need to pay any fees for the burial or cremation of a child. 

The Children’s Funeral Fund for England covers the cost of: 

  • Burial fees or cremation fees 
  • Doctor’s certificate 
  • Coffin (up to £300) 

The fund does not cover the cost of any other funeral director services or any optional extras such as flowers.  

If you’re using a funeral director you don’t need to make any claims yourself. They’ll cover the cost of the burial or cremation and the coffin and claim back the costs later. If you don’t use a funeral director, the burial site or crematorium can cover the costs, but you’ll need to make a claim online for the cost of the coffin. 

Public health funeral 

When someone passes away and they don’t have any family who are willing or able to pay for their funeral, the local authority is required to arrange a funeral for them. This will be either a simple cremation with a short service or a direct cremation, unless the person wanted to be buried for religious reasons or had other wishes they’d left behind. It’s important to know what a public health funeral is a last resort. Unlike the DWP help with funeral expenses, a public health funeral is really only for those who have no next of kin or who are estranged from their family, or who have nothing left behind in their estate. There are strict rules to follow when applying as you need to prove that there is no other way of paying for the funeral.  

Learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply in our guide to public health funerals

Find more help with funeral costs 

Help with funeral costs from the government can make a big difference. It could help ease some of your worries about budgeting and make planning a funeral easier. But if you don’t fit the eligibility criteria of the financial help we mentioned above, here are a few other ways you might be able to get help. 

  • Look into charities who can help – a number of charities offer support with funeral costs. Based on your individual circumstances you may be able to claim some money to help you. 
  • Find support for pensioners – if you’re over state pension age, you could be eligible for other help towards funeral costs for pensioners
  • Compare costs between different funeral directors – it’s a good idea to get quotes from several different funeral directors as it may save you money. Our funeral director finder makes it easy to find local funeral directors and compare prices.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.