HELP WITH FUNERAL COSTS
How much does a funeral cost?
According to the Money Advice Service the average cost of a funeral in the UK is an eye watering £3,757 without any extra’s such as flowers, order of services and embalming. However, burial costs are by far the most expensive, currently costing around £4,267 without important aspects such as a headstone and flowers. It’s clear to see why many people struggle with the cost of arranging a funeral within the UK and often opt for a Cremation.
Who must pay the funeral bill?
Sometimes, the person who has died may have already paid for their funeral in advance, using what’s called a pre-paid funeral plan such as Safe Hands. Or, the deceased may have left enough money to pay for their funeral in their estate to cover the required costs.
If the deceased didn’t leave enough or even any money, a friend or family member will usually pay the bill. If this happens, they may claim the money back from the deceased’s estate providing that there’s enough to cover it.
What happens if you can’t afford to pay for the funeral?
If you’re unable to pay for the funeral of a friend or loved one, there are a few options available, however, they differ considerably.
Payment by instalments
Some funeral directors including Far & Beyond Funeral Services will allow you to pay for your funeral over a 10-month, interest free, direct debit – with no credit check required. This is handy if you have a regular income and can afford the monthly payments, however, cannot afford the funeral cost in full.
It’s important that you ensure that you’re able to afford your monthly payments, as failing to keep up with your payments can have legal implications.
Local Council or Hospital
You may contact your local council or hospital for what’s commonly known as a ‘Public Health Funeral’. This is a basic service (typically a cremation) with the time and date being chosen by the authorities. Usually you may attend for a short time to pay your respects. You will be required to pay extra for flowers.
You can find out which council you come under by visiting the enclosed site.
DWP Funeral Payment – Qualifying Benefit(s)
The DWP Funeral Payment Scheme is designed to help people pay towards the cost of a funeral. If you receive a low income and/or receive the qualifying benefits listed below you may qualify for the payment.
• Income Support
• Housing Benefit
• The disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
• Pension Credit
• Universal Credit
• Child Tax Credit
• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
We find that the average reward is between £1,100 and £1,600 within the Greater Manchester area.
DWP Funeral Payment – Relationship Rules
In order to qualify for the DWP Funeral Payment, you must be one of the following;
• The partner of the deceased at the time of death
• A close relative or 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 year of age, or under 20 years of age and in approved education or training.
How to claim the DWP Funeral Payment
There are several ways to make your claim, as set out below. You have six months from the date of the funeral service to process your claim.
Many funeral directors (including ourselves) are happy to process a claim on your behalf by means of a written application. The funeral director or funeral arranger will usually complete the application with you, ask you to review the claim and sign the application form. The funeral director or funeral arranger will then send your application to the DWP for processing.
You can make your claim directly with the DWP by telephoning 0800 731 0469 between the hours of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Usually the DWP cannot process your application until you have officially appointed a funeral director, so it’s useful to find your funeral director before contacting the DWP.
You can complete your application form in writing and once completed send it to;
DWP Funeral Payments
What happens with a pre-paid funeral plan
If the deceased has already paid for their funeral service in advance with a pre-paid funeral plan, the first step is to notify the pre-paid funeral plan company. Each plan provider will have a different process; however, most usually request for a copy of the death certificate.
There is no central database to see if the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, however, below is a list of some of the major plan providers. If you’re unsure if the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan it may be worth calling the plan companies directly to enquire;
ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO PAY FOR A FUNERAL?
Contact a member of our team by telephoning 0800 368 7722 and we’d be honoured to help.