Help with the cost of a Funeral
Did you know that you may be entitled to help with the cost of the funeral from the following?
• The Deceased's Estate
• Any Life Insurance Policies
• Local Heath Authority (NHS)
• The Local Authority
• A War Pension
• Employer's Pension Schemes
• Trade Unions
• Provident Associations, Friendly Societies, Clubs & Other Associations
Payment of the funeral account is one of the first claims upon the estate of the deceased Bank Account(s) & Pension(s). When a bank is notified of the death of a customer no further withdrawals can be allowed on a account which is in the sole name of the deceased, or where the account was a joint account with the deceased as a necessary signatory to the operation of the account, whether it be in credit or overdrawn, although there is usually no difficulty in the Bank agreeing to accept credit for the benefits of such accounts.
However, banks and building societies will normally release funds from the deceased's frozen account for the settlement of funeral expenses and an invoice can either be sent direct to the relevant bank or can be remitted by hand.
You may need to seek professional assistance with the deceased's estate.
Life Insurance Policy
Did the deceased hold a life insurance policy? The insurance company will usually require:
• The original insurance policy
• A copy of the death certificate
• A valid receiptfor the money from the payee (usually meaning Grate of Probate or Letters of Administration).
You may need to seek professional assistance with the deceased's estate.
Local Heath Authority (NHS)
If a person dies in hospital the hospital administrator will arrange and pay for a very simple Burial or Cremation Contract Funeral, if no relatives are able to do so and money from the estate of the deceased may be used to pay for the funeral. This arrangement includes stillborn babies.
The Local Authority
Under section 46 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 a local Authority will arrange for a simple burial or cremation of a body of a person who has died or been found dead in their area, in any case where it appears to the Authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made otherwise than by the authority.
On the death of a War Pensioner, the family can claim the cost of a simple funeral from the War Pension Branch of the DWP if the death was related to the disablement. This payment is made as a grant and is not recoverable from the estate of the deceased person.
Employers' Pension Schemes
Some employers provide occupational pension schemes that include life insurance cover. This means that a lump sum is paid upon the death of the insured to help with the funeral costs.
Some Trade Unions are able to make grants upon the death of a member under certain circumstances.
Provident Associations, Friendly Societies, Clubs & other Associations
There are many clubs and associations that are able to make grants upon the death of a member or their dependants under certain circumstances.
Some local Municipal or other charities concerned with the elderly, those suffering from a particular condition or disability, ex patriots etc. may be able to assist if a need can be proved.
Benefits & Credits: Funeral Payments from the Social Fund
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.
If you are thinking of claiming please tell us ASAP.
Any money you get is usually paid back from the deceased person's estate (if they have one). For example, any money or property they had. A house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner are not counted as part of the estate.
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, e.g. 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.
Other costs the Funeral Payment can pay for are detailed in 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 - e.g. a bank account.
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.
Rules on your relationship with the deceased
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 the still-born baby
• 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.
Benefits and tax credits
You (or your partner) must get one of the following:
• 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, e.g. 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.
When to claim
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.
How to claim
You can claim the Funeral Payment:
by post - send form SF200 to your local Jobcentre plus
by phone - Bereavement Service helpline:
Telephone: 0845 606 0265
Welsh language: 0845 606 0275
Textphone: 0845 606 0285
Welsh language: 0845 606 0295
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
What you need to know
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. It must be an invoice, an estimate won't be accepted.
If you can apply by phone, the adviser will help you claim any other bereavement benefits you're entitled to.
You can appeal against the decision about your Funeral Payment if you're unhappy with it.
The following booklets may also be of use to you and are available from your local Jobcentre Plus:
• DWP1027 - What to do after a death in England & Wales
• D49S - What to do after a death in Scotland
• DWP1007 - Help from the Social Fund
• SF200 - Funeral Payment Claim Pack
• DWP1005 - Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parent Allowance, Bereavement Allowance
Taking care of the future
The pre-arrangement of a funeral or the pre-payment of a funeral. For further information ask for our leaflet.
For further advice and information please contact us.