UK Social Fund Funeral Payment

You could get a Funeral Payment if you're on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you're arranging. How much you get depends on your circumstances and if you qualify.

You'll usually have to pay back any money you get from the deceased person's' estate (if they have one). The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.

What you'll get

How much you get depends on your circumstances. The Funeral Payment can help pay for:

  • burial fees and exclusive rights to burial in a particular plot
  • cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor's certificate
  • up to £700 for funeral expenses, eg funeral director's fees, flowers, coffin
  • travel to arrange or go to the funeral
  • the costs for moving the body within the UK - but only for the part of the journey that's over 50 miles
  • If the person who died had a pre-paid funeral plan, you'll only get help for items not covered by the plan.

You can find the full list of what can be included in the Funeral Payment in claim form SF200.


How the money Is paid

Usually, if the funeral director hasn't been paid, the money is paid to them. If the funeral director has been paid, the money is paid into your account - eg a bank account.


Eligibility

To get a Funeral Payment you must be responsible for the funeral and:

  • claim in time
  • get certain benefits or tax credits
  • meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
  • The rules are different if the person died outside the UK.

You must apply within 3 months of the funeral. You can make a claim even if you're waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit.

You must be one of the following:

  • 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 of the deceased child, if they were under 16 (or under 20 and not in full-time education)

If the parent is 'absent', you must be responsible for the child and the absent parent must get a qualifying benefit.


Financial

You (or your partner) must get one of:

  • 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
  • one of the extra elements of Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

How much you get also depends on any other money available, eg from an insurance policy or the deceased's estate. If there's a close relative of the deceased who isn't getting one of the qualifying benefits you may not be able to claim Funeral Payment. If you don't qualify for a Funeral Payment you may be able to get help with the cost of a funeral in other ways, eg by using money from the deceased's bank account.


How to claim

You can claim a Funeral Payment using form SF200 or over the phone. You must claim within 3 months of the funeral. (There's a different way to claim if you live in Northern Ireland.) You must apply within 3 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 from the funeral director. An estimate won't be accepted. You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for 'mandatory reconsideration' before you appeal.

Learn More
Or email us your questions at help@harbourfunerals.com
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