If you're on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you're arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. You might have to repay some or all of it from the deceased person’s estate.
Who is eligible?
You may be able to get a Funeral Payment but it depends on the benefits you're getting, your relationship with the person who died and any other money, other than your personal savings, that may be available to help with the cost of the funeral.
Benefits and tax credits
You may be eligible for a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund if you or your partner are getting any of the following benefits or tax credits:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
- Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element
The term 'partner' is used here to mean:
- a person you are married to, or person you live with as if you are married to them
- a civil partner, or person you live with as if you are civil partners
Relationship with the person who has died
To be able to get a Funeral Payment you must also be either:
- the partner of the deceased when they died
- the parent of the deceased child, or have been responsible for the deceased child (and there is no absent parent) (unless they are getting one of the above qualifying benefits or were estranged from the child at the date of death)
- the parent of a still-born child
- a close relative or close friend of the deceased (and it is reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral costs)
Other money available
When we work out how much help you can get, we will also look at how much money (other than your personal savings) is available to help you with the cost of the funeral.
This could include money available from the estate of the person who died, contributions received and money from, for example, insurance policies. But this does not include the social security Bereavement Payment or money from certain government-funded trusts.
For UK residents and funerals
To be eligible, the funeral must usually take place in the UK providing the deceased was normally resident in the UK, or in the Republic of Ireland, providing the deceased was normally resident in Northern Ireland.
Who isn't eligible?
You can't get a funeral payment as a close relative or close friend of the deceased if either:
- the deceased had a partner when they died
- there is a parent, son or daughter of the deceased who has not been awarded one of the qualifying benefits or was not estranged from the deceased - this doesn't include family members who are: aged under 18, qualifying young people for the purposes of Child Benefit, full-time students, members of religious orders, in prison or in hospital (and who had been awarded a qualifying benefit immediately before they entered prison or hospital), asylum seekers being supported by the National Asylum Support Service, or family members not normally resident in the UK
- there is a close relative of the deceased, other than a close relative in one of the excluded groups listed above, who was in closer contact with the deceased than you were, or had equally close contact and is not getting a qualifying benefit