Government support for funeral costs

There are a number of options available for you to consider, which may give you that helping hand you need.

Take a look below at the different options available:

Funeral Expenses Payment

This service is provided by the government, to support people in England and Wales who claim certain benefits to help pay for a funeral. If you live in Scotland you can apply for a Funeral Support Payment. It has replaced Funeral Expenses Payment in Scotland.

This payment does not usually cover all of the costs of a funeral. How much you get depends on your circumstances, and also includes any other money that’s available to cover the costs, for example from an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.

If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, you can only get up to £120 to help pay for items not covered by their plan. The money will be paid directly to Co-op Funeralcare if you have not paid yet.

A Funeral Expenses Payment claim form (SF200) may be obtained from a Jobcentre Plus office, or can be downloaded here. However, the easiest way to claim Funeral Expenses Payment is by phone, call 0800 731 0469 and choose option 2.

Bereavement Support Payment

Help is available in England, Wales and Scotland if your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017. You can claim this payment if at the time of death:

  • you are under state pension age
  • were married to or in a civil partnership with the person who has died
  • the person who has died paid income tax for 6 months between 1975 and the date of death
  • the person died as a result of an accident at work or a disease caused by work

The payment available is £2,500 and is tax free. A further 18 monthly payments of £100 are also made. If you have children under 18 and receive child benefit this amount increases to £3,500 and the 18 monthly payments increase to £350

Download a Bereavement Support Payment pack (form BSP1) or order it over the phone from your local Jobcentre Plus.

  • Bereavement Service helpline: 0800 731 0139
  • Welsh language: 0800 731 0453

Budgeting Loan

This is an interest-free loan for those on income related benefits, to help towards the cost of your loved one’s funeral. The repayments come directly from your benefits and you only pay back what you’ve borrowed.

You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you, your husband, wife or civil partner have been receiving one of the below benefits for at least 26 weeks:

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

The maximum amount you’ll receive is £812 if you’re eligible and have children. The amount you’ll receive also depends on your ability to pay the loan back and if you have over £1,000 of savings (or £2,000 if you or your husband, wife or civil partner are over 62).

Public Health Funeral

Local authorities have a statutory duty to arrange funerals for people who die within their boundary, where no other suitable arrangements can be made e.g. there are no relatives willing or able to arrange the funeral or where there are insufficient funds. It’s the council’s responsibility to recover the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased, if there is an estate.

Some councils do not cover the cost of a celebrant or minister, and don't allow the service to be attended or the ashes to be claimed afterwards.

Children’s Funeral Fund (CFF)

This fund is available to families arranging a children’s funeral in England* to cover the cost of burial or cremation fees. Funeral directors and burial or cremation authorities will apply to the Children’s Funeral Fund to claim these fees back on the family’s behalf.

The CFF gives up to £300 towards a coffin, but it does not cover any of the funeral director services to carry out the funeral, or any additional products, such as flowers.

Families choosing us to carry out the funeral of a child will not be charged for the funeral director services, as we’ve offered a free children’s funeral service for over 30 years.

*In Wales, burial and cremation fees aren’t charged for children’s funerals, and in Scotland, the Scottish Government are working closely with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to remove all burial and cremation fees for children’s funerals. You will need to know if these fees need to be paid in your local area.

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