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Government Support for Funeral Costs

The UK Government have multiple schemes that you could be eligible for when it comes to paying for funerals, find out more about each one here.

How Can the Government Help with Funeral Costs?

The UK government offers a scheme, officially named the Funeral Expenses Payment, that can help those who are receiving particular benefits. This is typically done on a case by case basis but intends to provide support to those who are arranging a funeral and the applicant has low income.

This isn’t the only scheme that can help funerals, in fact there are some others too that relate to particular deaths, these include the following.

government help for funeral funds UK
  • Childrens Funeral Fund: This is a scheme that provides financial support for the burial, or cremation of a child under the age of 18, and stillbirths after the 24th week of pregnancy. This scheme is also applicable to those in Wales and Scotland
  • Armed Forces Bereavement Scheme: If your loved one or the person in which you’re planning a funeral for died during service, the MOD can pay for a military funeral and the person who is arranging the funeral will receive an expenses grant to provide support for funeral costs.
  • Bereavement Support Payment: This is a Government funeral grant that has replaced the prior benefits that were known as Widowed Parent’s Allowance, bereavement allowance and Bereavement payment. This Bereavement Support Payment is typically paid as a one off-payment, followed by up to 18 monthly payments.

These kinds of schemes help with funeral costs in the UK, but do be aware that they can often change and can sometimes be based on eligibility.
That being said, let’s look into what kind of eligibility criteria there is below.

Can You Get Help with Funeral Costs?

Considering there are various routes to take, you may be wondering – who qualifies for a funeral grant?

The answer is, it varies; however there is often mention of some payments being ‘not means-tested’.

This means that what you receive from the government is not determined by how much you earn or how much savings that you have. Nonetheless, these can change, so be sure to check for each circumstance or scheme that you’re applying to and check if eligibility requirements are means-tested prior.

Aside from this, there are circumstance specific eligibility requirements that you must meet for some of the bereavement schemes, these include, but may not be limited to the following.

government funeral grant

Funeral Expenses Payment

In order to be eligible for the support for funeral costs, you need to consider the following requirements:

  • – You receive certain benefits or tax credits
  • – You meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased
  • – you’re arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

The type of benefits that you need to be receiving in order to be considered for the Funeral Expenses Payment include:

  • Universal Credit
  • 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
  • Child Tax Credit

As well as the consideration benefits, you should also consider the relationship between you and the deceased. In order to be eligible to receive government funding for funerals in this instance you should be either the partner or parent of the deceased.

In terms of parents, you must be the parent of a baby still born after 24 weeks of pregnancy or the parent or person responsible for a deceased child under 16, or 20 if they’re in approved education or training.

Children’s Funeral Fund

The children’s funeral fund is the government scheme to help with child funeral costs, if you’re the parent or guardian you can claim on a no-means basis.

This includes baby and children’s funerals for the young that are after the age of 24 weeks and before the age of 18.

While there isn’t an extensive eligibility criteria, you should apply according to your location. For example, if you’re in England you should apply for the England fund, same goes for Scotland and Wales as there could be minor differences.


Armed Forces Bereavement Scheme

The Next of Kin from an armed forces member can choose either a military or private service and the details would be discussed from a Visiting Officer.

The vast majority of detail for your circumstance will come from speaking with your Visiting Officer, while you can also contact the JCCC for assistance on grave markings too.

Bereavement Support Payment

The eligibility requirements for the bereavement support payments for getting help with funeral costs are as follows:

The relationship between you and your partner must be:

  • – Either married or in a registered civil partnership
  • – Living together as though you were married

Something that you should keep in mind in this circumstance is that while you can claim Bereavement Support Payment if your partner died in the last 21 months, you might get less than the usual 18 monthly payments. In order to get the full amount, you must claim within 3 months of your partner’s death. As well as this, when you partner died, you must have been either:

Your partner must have also either:

  • Paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year since 6 April 1975
  • Died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work

However, if you were living together as though you were married with the person who died, the following circumstances must apply:

  • – Under State Pension age when your partner died
  • – Under State Pension age on 30 August 2018

When your partner died, you must have been either:

  • – Getting or entitled to Child Benefit
  • – Pregnant

Finally, you cannot claim the Bereavement Support Payment if you’re in prison. Do ensure you keep up to date with the UK Government’s schemes, these can change and eligibility can change too so speak to the correct parties to find out what help you are specifically able to claim.

How Much Funeral Cost Help Do You Get?

Depending on which eligibility criteria that you meet, the amount that you receive could vary. Here are the payments you could expect to receive if you claim for the following government funding for funerals.

Person calculating costs of funeral

Funeral Expenses Payment

If you claim for this scheme your help towards funeral costs would include the payment for some of the costs of:

  • Burial or cremation fees
  • Doctor certificate
  • Travel to arrange or goto the funeral
  • The cost of moving body within the UK (if moved more than 50 miles)
  • Death certificates or other documents.

Typically, the payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral and the amount that you receive is subjective to your circumstances. Another thing to note is that if the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, you can still receive up to £120 for the factors that aren’t covered within the plan.

Children’s Funeral Fund

The Children’s Funeral Fund to help with funeral costs for a child covers the:

  • Burial fees or cremation feeds
  • Doctor’s certificate
  • Coffin, shroud or casket up to the cost of £300

For more information on this specific case, find out more on our children’s and baby funerals page.

Armed Forces Bereavement Scheme

While there is not a disclosed figure from the government on the exact amount you would get, there is instead reference for those who require this help to speak to your Visiting Officer to find out more detail on how the MOD pays for a military or private service.

help with solider funeral costs

Bereavement Support Payment

The Bereavement Support Payments are paid into your bank, building society or credit union account and the payments can vary based on circumstance, these are as follows.

If you were married or in a registered civil partnership with the deceased:

If you were getting Child Benefit when your partner died (or did not get it but were entitled to it), you’ll get the higher rate.

This is made up of:

  • A first payment of £3,500
  • Up to 18 monthly payments of £350

If you were not entitled to Child Benefit, you’ll get the lower rate unless you were pregnant when your partner died.

  • A first payment of £2,500
  • Up to 18 monthly payments of £100

You must claim within 12 months of your partner’s death to get the first payment. If you claim after this time, you will only get monthly payments.

The other circumstance is if you were living together as though you were married with the person who died, if this is the case, you’ll get the following support for funeral costs

You’ll get a first payment of £3,500 and then up to 18 monthly payments of £350.

However, you may get fewer payments if:

  • Your partner died after 9 February 2023 and you claim more than 3 months after your partner’s death
  • Your partner died before 30 August 2018

How to Claim Government Funding for Funerals

So, does the UK government pay for funerals? Often yes, but as you now know, there are some eligibility requirements. Aside from the eligibility side of things, you may be wondering how to actually apply to claim for said support.

That being said, here are the ways to claim for each support scheme.

funding for funerals

Funeral Expenses Payment

The Funerals Expenses Payment needs to be applied for within 6 months of the funeral, even if you’re waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit.

Nonetheless, you can make a claim before the funeral if you’ve got an invoice or signed contract from the funeral director, though it cannot be an estimate.

Keep in mind also that if you get Universal Credit, you will not get a decision on your claim until after your next payment.

In order to make a claim, you need to call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800152012, alternatively, you can download a claim form and send it to the address on the form. Find out more information on accessible contact on their website.

Children’s Funeral Fund

When it comes to funeral costs for a child, the application is more straightforward. You do not have to submit claims yourself, us here at Kenna and Turner can actually do this for you so you don’t have to take on this burden during your time of grief.

Nonetheless, if you need to claim anything else you can simply claim online and claims must be made within 6 months of the funeral.

Armed Forces Bereavement Scheme

Anything to do with the Armed Forces Scheme should be discussed with your Visiting Officer, there isn’t specific ways to apply and instead would be provided with advice and guidance from them.

Bereavement Support Payment

In order to apply for the Bereavement Support Payment, you can take any of the following routes:

  • Applying online
  • Apply by phone on 08001512021
  • Post by filling out a Bereavement Support Payment form

For any other accessible options, visit their website.

government help for funeral costs