One of the questions we are asked is “Can I get any assistance with funeral costs?” Assistance is available from the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Social Fund which can provide assistance to individuals who meet the required criteria. To qualify you must demonstrate that you are the most suitable person to take responsibility for paying the funeral account – additionally you must be receiving at least one of several qualifying benefits and have insufficient savings to pay for the funeral.
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
Making a claim
You can only make a claim from the date of death up to three months after the funeral.
If any funds are available from the deceased estate the social fund will recover these to cover the funeral payment. But they will not use the house in which the deceased partner is living in or the persons personal belongings left to relatives as funds towards a payment to the funeral.
Places they may look for available funds first to help calculate if you qualify for help or how much you qualify for:
- Money in a bank, building society or Post Office® account.
- Money from insurance policies
- Money from an occupational pension scheme
- Money from a burial club or something like this
- Any savings or cash of the person who has died
The DWP Funeral Payment will only give a limited amount of money which would cover a very basic funeral, or if you choose to have a more traditional funeral they would contribute towards this.
Can I get any assistance with funeral costs? – What do I do next
You can print the form called SF200 and take it to your local Jobcentre plus or sent your completed form to :
Balham Benefit Centre
Balham Funeral Payments
Mail Handling Site A
Apply over the phone
Call the Bereavement Service helpline. The adviser will also help you claim any other bereavement benefits you’re entitled to.
Bereavement Service helpline
Telephone: 0345 606 0265