Benefits for people who are State Pension age

9. Funeral Expenses Payment

You may be entitled to help towards some of the funeral costs if you are in receipt of certain benefits. Funeral Expenses Payments are paid by the Social Fund, part of the DWP.

In most cases, a Funeral Expenses Payment will not cover the full cost of the funeral and if you receive money from the person's estate, you'll usually have to repay the Funeral Expenses Payment. A house or personal items left to a surviving spouse or civil partner are not counted as part of the estate.

To claim a Funeral Expenses Payment you (or your partner if you have one) must take responsibility for the funeral costs of a person who was resident in the UK (and it must be reasonable to do so), you must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit and you must have a specified relationship to the deceased.

To claim you must be either:

  • 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)

and you must be in receipt of one 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 can still claim Funeral Expenses Payment if you’ve applied for these benefits and you’re waiting to hear about your claim.

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.

How to claim

You must apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment 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.

You can find more information on Funeral Expenses Payment on GOV.UK, including qualifying criteria and how to claim.

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