The death of a loved one is by far one of life’s most difficult experiences. In fact, it’s a topic most of us try to avoid even thinking about 😬.
In some cases, the entire funeral has already been planned and paid for, so there’s nothing to worry about on the administration side of things. (Some people use some of the life insurance payout to pay for their funeral) In other cases, you can be left trying to plan and pay for a funeral all while trying to grieve the loss of your loved one. It can be incredibly overwhelming, and the last thing you should have to worry about is “how can I afford all of this?”
That’s where funeral benefits come in (and life insurance!)! If you need financial assistance to pay for a funeral, you may be eligible through a Funeral Expenses Payment. This is known as a Funeral Expenses Payment, because the term funeral benefits sounds a bit…wrong.
This is a government initiative designed to help with funeral costs for members of the population that already receive certain benefits or tax credits. The amount you receive depends on your individual circumstances.
What can I use the funeral expenses payment for?
You can use the Funeral Expenses Payment to cover the costs of things like:
- cremation or burial fees ⚱️
- travel to arrange/attend the funeral 🚗
- moving the body (more than 50 miles) within the UK 🚔
- death certificates 📝
You can also claim between £700-£1000 for other funeral expenses such as the funeral director’s fees, flowers or even the coffin.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
As with any government assistance program, you do need to meet certain criteria in order to qualify. For the Funeral Expenses Payment, there are four main requirements.
1. You’re already receiving certain benefits or tax credits
Chances are, you’ll be eligible to claim a Funeral Expenses Payment if you or your partner are already receiving any of the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
2. The funeral takes place in an approved location
Since the government is helping to pay, it makes sense that the funeral must take place in the UK. However, the funeral can take place in the Republic of Ireland if the deceased normally lived in Northern Ireland.
3. Relationship rules
You are also eligible to claim the funeral benefits if you are one the following:
- the partner (either married or civil) of the deceased when they died
- a close relative or friend of the deceased
- the parent of a stillborn baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy
- the parent of the deceased child if they were under 16, or under 20 and in full-time education
4. Claim On Time
You need to claim funeral payment within 6 months of the funeral taking place. You can even claim it before the funeral takes place, provided you have the necessary documents.
- Funeral director’s final bill or the receipts for necessary funeral costs if a director wasn’t used any other bills or receipts for funeral-related costs being claimed for
- Copy of the funeral plan, bond, or other prepaid arrangement and letter from the plan provider about the amount to be repaid
- Final bank statement of the deceased
- For the Housing Benefit entitlement, you’ll need the letter of the council showing you’re entitled to it
Meet all the requirements? Here’s how to claim:
By far, the easiest way to claim the Funeral Expenses Payment is by calling. You’re probably thinking: “Calling…? In this day and age?”. Absolutely! There is an option to submit a paper claim, but during a time of grieving, it’s nice to have someone walk you through the process. We know it can be overwhelming so it’s always helpful to ensure you’re not missing anything. You can also use these numbers to confirm whether or not you’re eligible at all.
For England, Scotland & Wales, you can either call or text the DWP Bereavement Service
0800 731 0469 Text: 0800 731 0464
If you’re looking for support in Welsh, you can use the following numbers:
0800 731 0453 Text: 0800 731 0456
For a Paper Claim:
- Go to the gov.uk website and download the Funeral Expenses Payment claim form.
- If you don’t have access to a computer or printer, you can ask for a claim form at your local Jobs and Benefits office.
- Once complete, send the form to: Freepost DWP Funeral Payments. Note: no postcode or stamp is necessary
If you’re from Northern Ireland check the details out on the website.
Funerals can be a challenging time and we suggest getting some help when it comes to the details. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have questions regarding wills or life insurance, we are always here to help. Feel free to email us at alexa@bequest and we will do our best to point you in the right direction. 💛