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Government help when paying for a funeral

In the majority of cases, funerals are paid for by the family or close friends of the person who has passed away. You may find that your family member has pre-paid for a funeral plan, which means all the arrangements have already been taken care of. However, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, the good news is that help is available. Here we’re going to share with you the options available if you are struggling to pay for your loved one’s funeral service.


Help with funeral costs

If you are on a low income and find yourself responsible for arranging a funeral, you may be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment. This will help to cover some of the costs, and the payment is made through the Social Fund. This is a government fund that helps people in emergencies with a one-off payment. Although if you do find yourself receiving money from your loved one’s estate, you will then have to repay it afterwards.


Naturally, there are many rules regarding Funeral Expenses Payments and who is eligible for them. We recommend checking that you are eligible for the payment before making the funeral arrangements, as you won’t get a final decision on your payment until afterwards.

Eligibility for a Funeral Expenses Payment

To be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment, you will either have to be the partner of the person who died, or a close relative or friend. If it’s considered that you could pay for the funeral or that another member of your family could, the Department of Work and Pensions can refuse your application. You must also be receiving means-tested benefits to claim, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefits. If your loved one had a pre-paid funeral plan, you may also not be eligible for this assistance.

To apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment, you must put in your claim within three months of the date of the funeral. You will need to complete an SF200 form, which you can get from or your local Jobcentre Plus.

What does a Funeral Expenses Payment cover?

The payment will cover a simple funeral in the UK, which will include burial fees and purchasing a new burial plot. It should cover costs for a return journey to arrange and attend the funeral, and money towards transportation costs if the body is going to travel over fifty miles. Up to £700 will be provided for other expenses which can include the coffin, religious costs and flowers.


Other options

If none of your loved one’s family and friends are able to pay for the funeral, your local council can arrange a public health funeral. The council may have to claim the costs back from the estate; however, you can contact your local council for further information regarding this option.

Another option for those who don’t qualify for a Funeral Expenses Payment is a Budgeting Loan from the Social Fund. You would repay this from your benefits, and they will generally lend you between £1,000 and £1,500. If you are receiving Universal Credit, you’ll need to apply for a Budgeting Advance instead.


If you have any further questions or concerns regarding financing your loved one’s funeral service, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Emotions Funeral Service. We are available 24- hours a day, seven days a week by phone at 01422 345 472

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