Getting help from the Government for your funeral costs

How it works

You could get a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) if you get certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeralyou’re arranging.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg)
If you live in Scotland
You can apply for a Funeral Support Payment It has replaced Funeral Expenses Payment in Scotland.
If you receive money from the deceased’s estate
Your Funeral Expenses Payment will be deducted from any money you get from the deceased’s estate.

The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.
What you’ll get
Funeral Expenses Payment can help pay for some of the costs of the following:
  • Burial fees for a particular plot
  • Cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
  • Travel to arrange or go to the funeral
  • The cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
  • Death certificates or other documents
You can also get money for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin. You can get up to:
  • £700 if the person died before 8 April 2020
  • £1,000 if the person died on or after 8 April 2020
The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral. How much you get depends on your circumstances. This includes any other money that’s available to cover the costs, for example from an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.

Check the claim form notes for full details of what Funeral Expenses Payment covers.

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.
How the money is paid
Funeral Expenses Payment is paid into your bank, building society or credit union account  if you’ve already paid for the funeral.

The money will be paid directly to the organiser of the funeral(for example, the funeral director) if you have not paid yet.
You can get a Funeral Expenses Payment if all of the following apply:
  • You get certain benefits or tax credits
  • You meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
  • You’re arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
You might be able to get other help to pay for the funeral if you’re not eligible for Funeral Expenses Payment.
Benefits and tax credits you must get
You (or your partner) must get one or more of the following:
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • The disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
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 you were responsible for a deceased child but you’re not their parent, the non-resident parent must get one or more ofthese benefits.

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.
Rules on your relationship with the deceased
You must 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.
If the funeral will take place in the EEA or Switzerland
Contact the Social Fund to check if you’re eligible.

Social Fund
Telephone: 0800 169 0140
Textphone: 0800 169 0286

Relay UK
(if you cannot hear or speak on the phone):
18001 then 0800 1690140

Video relay service
for British Sign Language (BSL) users - check you can use the service

Welsh language: 0800 169 0240

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges
Make a claim
You must apply within 6 months of the funeral, even if you’re waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit

You can make a claim before the funeral if you’ve got an invoice or signed contract from the funeral director. It cannot be an estimate. If you get Universal Credit, you will not get a decision on your claim until after your next payment.

There’s a different way to claim if you live in Northern Ireland
How to claim
Claim by phone by calling the Bereavement Service helpline.
Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language textphone: 0800 731 0456
Relay UK
If you cannot hear or speak on the phone: 18001 then 0800 731 0469

Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users - check you can use the service

Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm

Find out about call charges
An adviser will also help you claim any other bereavement benefits you might be entitled to.

You can also claim by post. Download and fill in the claim form (SF200) send it to the address on the form.
Appeal a Funeral Expenses Payment decision
You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision about Funeral Expenses Payment