Grants related to work or professions can help with unpaid funeral bills.
Most require that you or the deceased worked in a particular trade or industry for at least two years, but some have no length of service criteria.
Did you know?
- You can look at charities related to your own work history and to the past employment of the deceased. It may also be possible for your partner or other close family members of the deceased who are helping with the funeral bill to make applications based on their work history.
- It doesn’t have to be a current job, it depends on the charity, but many will consider applications from people who worked in their industry, e.g. hospitality, a long time ago
- Don’t worry if the company no longer exists, this doesn’t matter, but it is likely you will have to provide evidence of having worked in the sector e.g. retail.
- Most grant making charities require evidence that you have explored any government funding that you are entitled to, before considering an application.
- Charities will often only consider paying an outstanding funeral bill. They usually pay the funeral director directly. Many won't pay you or a family member or friend, but may in some cases. It is worth checking before applying.
- Google searches - a simple internet search using keywords will help you find appropriate charities.
- Check the Turn2us grants search tool. Under the ‘search for a grant’ section, you can enter details about your past work and employment. You’ll then get a list of charities which you may be able to apply for help. Have a look at each one and make sure to check the eligibility criteria. If you struggle with the search you can call their helpline: 0808 802 2000.
- Are you, your partner or a close family member who is helping with the bill a member of a trade union (a workers’ union)? If so, contact your union welfare department to ask about possible financial support schemes they have.
- If the deceased was a member of trade union, contact them to find out if they were eligible for any death benefits.
Hints and tips
Charities all have their own eligibility criteria so it’s worth phoning their helpline to check if you are eligible before completing a long application form.
Include as much evidence as possible to support an application, for example a copy of the funeral bill, letter from the Department for Work and Penions regarding a Funeral Payment, recent bank statement, evidence of working in a particular trade.
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Despite a successful Funeral Payment application, Sharon still needed £2,000 to cover remaining funeral costs.
As her husband had been a butcher by trade, she was able to make an application to a charity related to his profession. This was successful and the charity paid the outstanding funeral bill. Sharon told us “I don’t think you realise what a relief this is. I can’t thank you enough”.