A Funeral Payment from the DWP is intended to help you pay for a funeral if you are on a low income, and you are the person responsible for arranging the funeral.

Who can get a Funeral Payment?

The person who has died must have been ordinarily resident in the UK at the date of death and the funeral must normally take place in the UK.

You are eligible for a Funeral Payment if it is reasonable for you or your partner to take responsibility for the funeral costs and you are in receipt of any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award
  • Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element

Who should claim?

You should claim if you are the surviving partner of the deceased. If there is no surviving partner and the deceased is not a child for whom you were receiving Child Benefit, you should claim if you are a parent, son, daughter, close relative or close friend of the person who has died. No payment will be awarded if there is a parent, son or daughter (other than yourself) of the person who has died who has not been awarded one of the qualifying benefits mentioned above. Where you claim as a parent, son, daughter, close relative or close friend, the DWP will also decide whether it was reasonable for you to have accepted responsibility for the funeral expenses. This is done by considering the nature and extent of your contact with the person who has died and whether there is any other person who had equally close or closer contact with the deceased.

What does the Funeral Payment cover?

A Funeral Payment will contribute towards the costs of a simple, respectful, low-cost funeral. This includes:

For burials:

  • The cost of a new burial plot with an exclusive right of burial or the cost of reopening an existing grave
  • The fees charged by the authority responsible for cemeteries in the area where the burial takes place.

For Cremations:

  • The fees charged by the authority responsible for the cremation
  • The cost of any medical references or doctor’s certificates
  • The cost of removal of an active implanted medical device (eg, a pacemaker)

And in any case:

  • The cost of documentation needed for the immediate release of assets of the deceased.
  • When it is necessary to move the body over 50 miles within the UK to the funeral director’s premises or place of rest, the reasonable cost of that part of the journey which is over 50 miles.
  • Where the return journey to the funeral is necessarily over 50 miles, the reasonable cost of that part of the return journey that is over 50 miles for the transport of the coffin and bearers, plus one additional vehicle.
  • The necessary cost of a return journey for you, either to arrange the funeral or go to the funeral.
  • A contribution of up to £700 for any other funeral expenses (eg. towards funeral directors fees).

Our funeral directors will be happy to advise you on making an application for assistance with funeral expenses to the DWP and provide you with the application form for doing so.