to somebody you love is extremely hard. At this difficult time, the last thing you need is to be worrying about money.
While those who can afford to, may have put money into a funeral plan or died with a life insurance policy in place, those in the lower income bracket might not have these funds put aside to cover the relevant costs.
If you cannot afford to pay for the funeral of a loved one, there may be financial assistance available. The Government’s Social Fund has a range of grants and payments available for those who have been bereaved, including a Funeral Expenses Payment and a Bereavement Allowance. These funds can be paid to those who have lost a close relative or friend if they are in receipt of certain benefits and meet certain criteria.
Funeral Expenses Payments
The Funeral Expenses Payment is a one-time grant paid to the next of kin of the deceased person. It is available for anyone who needs to pay for a close relative’s funeral, and who is also in receipt of or eligible for certain welfare benefits. Qualifying benefits include; Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit. The payment can be authorised when the funeral director’s invoice has been received: the DWP will not make payments based purely on an estimate.
The funeral payment is effectively a loan against the estate of the deceased, available on a means-tested basis. If the person arranging the funeral is in receipt of welfare and cannot afford to cover the cost of the funeral upfront, then the Social Fund will make the payment in the interim. Once the estate of the deceased is released, the amount of the funeral payment will be reclaimed. However, if there is no estate or if the deceased person is a descendent of the person arranging the funeral, then the payment will not need to be repaid.
It may be that you can cover the cost of the funeral itself, but that losing a loved one will impact on you financially in the future. If you have become widowed and are under the state pension age, for example, then you may be eligible for a Bereavement Support Payment or a Bereavement Allowance if your loved one has paid enough national insurance contribution. If there are children in the relationship, then this may be replaced with the Widowed Parent’s Allowance, which is paid on top of child benefit for all qualifying children belonging to the deceased person. If funeral costs have left you struggling financially, these payments may offer some relief after the service is paid for.
As a trusted funeral service, we take the time to understand the different circumstances of our clients and to ensure you have access to all available help. If you are worried about paying for a funeral, know that we accept social fund claims and we can guide you through the application process as well. Saying goodbye to a loved one is difficult enough, without the added worry of paying for the service. If you have a low income or receive state benefits, there is support for the funeral costs so that you can focus on saying goodbye to your loved one.