Paying for the funeral

Finding the money

Funerals can be expensive. It is important that you check where the money for the funeral will come from before making any arrangements. Often the deceased will have contributed to schemes to pay for the funeral. You may be eligible to help from the social fund if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit where a disabled person is included in the assessment
  • Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit

Payment by the deceased

If the deceased's bank account isn't a joint one, it will be frozen. It may be possible to have part of the deceased's savings released to pay for the funeral. You will be asked for documents including the Death Certificate.

Employer's pension schemes or personal pensions

Some employers provide occupational pension schemes that pay a lump sum to help with funeral costs. Check to see if the deceased has ever belonged to such a scheme. It is possible that the deceased may have made their own arrangements if they where self employed or not part of an employer's pension scheme.

Life insurance policies

The deceased may have taken out a life insurance policy which will provide a lump sum payment if someone dies before a certain age. Payment is usually made after probate, however the insurance company may pay out a limited sum on receipt of a copy of the Death Certificate.

Help with the cost of the funeral

You may be able to receive a Social Fund Funeral Payment to help with the costs if you are having trouble paying for a funeral you have to arrange. To qualify you or your partner must be receiving one of the benefits listed above. The deceased must of been a resident in the United Kingdom at the date of death, and the funeral should take place in the UK.

When and how to claim

You can claim a Funeral Payment from the date of death and up to 3 months after the date of the funeral. Funeral Payments are usually made by giro cheque in the funeral director's name. To claim contact your local social security office.

When a war pensioner dies

If the person who died was a war pensioner you may be able to get help with the cost of a simple funeral if:

  • The war pensioner died from the disablement condition for which he or she was getting a war pension
  • The war pensioner died in hospital receiving treatment for the disablement condition
  • The war pensioner was getting war pensioner's Constant Attendance Allowance at the time of his or her death
  • The war pensioner was receiving a War Disablement Pension assessed at 80 per cent or more and Unemployability Supplement at the time of his or her death

Claims will need to be made within 3 months of the funeral, to claim you must write after the funeral to:

Veterans Agency, Norcross, Blackpool FY5 3WP

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