There is some statutory financial support available to help with funeral costs.
Funeral benefits cover about 39% of the cost of an average funeral.
To apply you must be responsible for the funeral costs and in receipt of qualifying benefits.
Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment (England or Wales)
- Funeral Expenses Payment (Northern Ireland)
- Funeral Support Payment (Scotland)
If your financial circumstances were connected to the person who has died, your benefits may have been affected and you may need to make a new application first. If you haven’t already, you could call the DWP Bereavement Service on 0800 731 0469. If you are not currently in receipt of benefits, you may now be eligible – you can check by completing a benefits calculation online. Also, take a look at our guide to finances after a bereavement.
Bereavement Support Payment
If you are under state pension age and your wife/husband/civil partner has died, you may also be eligible for the Bereavement Support Payment:
- Bereavement Support Payment (England, Wales and Scotland)
- Bereavement Support Payment (Northern Ireland)
Did you know?
- Eligibility for funeral payments is dependent on your benefits, not those of the person who has died.
- Funeral and bereavement payments are grants and do not need to be paid back.
- You can apply in writing or over the phone - check the links above for more detail.
- Do you need to have your benefits reassessed?
- Are you eligible for a funeral payment?
- Are you eligible for a bereavement support payment for spouses or civil partners?
Hints and tips
Eligibility for a funeral payment is not just dependent on your benefits, it may also rely on the benefit status of other close family members. The government will also need to agree that it is reasonable for you to take responsibility, as opposed to anyone else.
Please see our factsheets for more information:
- Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment for an adult (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)
- Funeral Support Payment for an adult (Scotland)
It is also advisable to read the relevant government guidance notes before completing the application:
- Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment notes (England and Wales)
- Funeral Expenses Payment notes (Northern Ireland)
Do you have two minutes to help us improve this service? Please complete this short survey.
Rachael was arranging her mother’s funeral and felt quite distressed.
She completed an application for the Social Fund Funeral Payment over the phone but received a letter stating her claim was rejected. A Down to Earth team member was able to work with Rachael to clarify her situation and the reasons for the rejection. We were able to give the Bereavement Service the information they needed and Rachael’s application was successful.