What is the government funeral payment scheme?

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Getting government help with funeral costs

If you live in the UK and receive benefits, you may be able to get government help with funeral costs.

What is the government funeral grant?

In the UK, the government gives financial help towards a funeral for people who receive benefits. It’s called the Funeral Expenses Payment, or the Funeral Support Payment in Scotland. You might also hear it referred to as the DWP Funeral Grant.

The grant covers some essential funeral costs and provides money to put towards other things you might like as part of the service.

Who qualifies for a funeral grant?

To get government help to pay for your funeral costs, you’ll need to prove your relationship to the person who has died, and also prove that you receive certain benefits. You also need to hold the funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

To receive a government funeral grant you must be receiving some form of financial assistance or benefit. This can include:

You may also be eligible for support if you receive financial assistance for a mortgage.

If you’ve applied for one of the benefits listed above and are waiting for it to be approved, you can still apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment. You don’t need to wait until your other benefits have been approved.

You can see full details about who is eligible for the funeral payment on the UK government website.

What does a funeral payment cover?

Funeral Payments don’t cover all aspects of the funeral. But they can cover part or all of the cost of some of the most important things. These include:

How much will the government pay towards a funeral?

The government funeral payment will cover all or part of the costs listed above, plus you’ll get an additional fund of up to £1000. You can use this for costs associated with the funeral service itself, including funeral director services, catering, flowers or the coffin.

It’s important to know that if the person who has died had a funeral plan in place, the maximum you’ll be able to claim is £120. You can use this for any costs not covered by the funeral plan.

How to apply for a funeral grant

You can claim for a funeral payment either before or after the funeral has taken place. If you apply before the funeral, the money will be paid directly to the funeral director or other authority in charge of the service. If you apply after the funeral (within six months of the funeral taking place), the money will be paid directly into your bank or building society account.

You can apply for the funeral grant by phone or by post. Visit the government website to find the contact details for your country or to download the funeral grant form.

How long does the funeral payment take to come through?

In Scotland, the government will reply to your application within 10 days to tell you if your claim has been approved. If it has, then you’ll usually get the payment within 4-5 working days from the date on your letter.

There isn’t currently any info available about waiting times for people in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Find more help towards funeral costs

In most cases, the government funeral grant won’t cover the full cost of a funeral. This means there will still be some things you need to pay for.

Here are some other things you can do to help pay for the funeral:

 

Looking for more help? You’ll find more info on paying for or planning a funeral in our advice hub.

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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