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Funeral Payment

Find out more about Funeral Payments.

1. What is a Funeral Payment?

A Funeral Payment is to help with funeral costs that you are responsible for 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.

You do not have to repay a funeral payment, although it can be recovered from the estate of the person who has died.( if they have one)

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age Rules: There are no specific age rules

Taxable: No

Which Agency: JobCentre Plus

2. Can I get a Funeral Payment?

You qualify for a Funeral Payment if you, or your partner, are getting one of the following benefits:

If your partner dies, you may qualify for one of these benefits when you could not before. Make your claim as soon as possible but don’t delay claiming a Funeral Payment because you are waiting for a decision.

You will not be granted a Funeral Payment just because you are paying for a funeral. The benefits office has to agree that it is reasonable for you to be responsible for paying for the funeral and that there is no one else who should be paying for it.

If you are claiming for the funeral of your child or partner, you can be paid a Funeral Payment as long as you meet the other qualifying conditions. This applies to lesbian, gay and heterosexual partners. It also applies whether you were married, in a civil partnership or just living together.

If you are a close relative, family member or a friend of the person who has died, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment, but this will depend on whether there is someone closer or equally close to the person who has died who is not getting benefits. In this situation, the benefits office will consider how well you knew the person who has died and whether it is reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral expenses.

The funeral usually has to take place in the UK to qualify for a Funeral Payment but some may be covered if they take place in an EEA country. You should seek advice if the funeral is not in the UK; you can use our Find an Adviser tool or call the DWP Bereavement Service or Northern Ireland Bereavement Service.

3. How much Funeral Payment will I get?

There is no fixed sum for a Funeral Payment.

A Funeral Payment can cover:

  • Necessary burial or cremation fees

  • The cost of documents needed for the release of the money, savings and property of the person who has died

  • Part of the cost of moving the body to a place of rest (if in the UK and over 50 miles)

  • Part of the cost of transporting the coffin and bearers to the funeral (if in the UK and over 50 miles)

  • The cost of one return journey for you to arrange or attend the funeral

  • Up to £700 for other costs related to the funeral such as the funeral director's fees, the coffin, cars or flowers.

If the person who died had a pre-paid funeral plan you will not get any help towards costs already covered by the plan. You may still get help with necessary costs not covered or only partly covered by the plan and up to £120 towards other costs related to the funeral.

If the Funeral Payment does not cover the full necessary costs of the funeral, you may be able to apply for a Budgeting Loan as well.

A Funeral Payment does not usually have to be repaid, however, if the person who died left assets and/or money in their estate, this might have to be used to pay back the Funeral Payment. A home lived in by the partner of the person who has died is not counted, nor are personal possessions left to relatives.

How will I be paid a Funeral Payment?

Funeral Payment is paid into your bank, building society or post office account if you’ve already paid for the funeral. However, it will be paid directly to the organiser of the funeral (for example, the funeral director) if you haven’t paid yet.

Funeral Payment and other benefits

A Funeral Payment does not count as capital so will not affect other means-tested benefits that you get.


Updated: July 2017

4. How do I claim a Funeral Payment?

You must claim a Funeral Payment within 3 months of the funeral taking place.

England and Wales

Telephone Claim

DWP Bereavement Service:
Tel: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0345 606 0285
Tel: 0345 606 0275 (Welsh)
Textphone: 0345 606 0295 (Welsh).

Paper Claim

Download a claim form from the Gov.UK website (link opens in new window)

Telephone Jobcentre Plus for a claim form:

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language line: 0800 012 1888

Northern Ireland

Telephone Claim

Northern Ireland Bereavement Service: 0800 085 2463.

Paper Claim

Phone your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office for a claim form (link opens in a new window)

What documents will I need to claim a Funeral Payment?

You must send the following documents to support your claim:

  • The funeral director’s final bill, or the bill/receipts for the necessary funeral costs if a funeral director wasn’t used

  • The bill or receipt for any other funeral related costs being claimed for

  • A copy of the funeral plan, funeral bond, or other such prepaid arrangement if one exists and any letter from the plan provider about the amount to be repaid

  • The final statement for the bank or similar account of the person who has died

  • If you qualify on the basis of Housing Benefit entitlement you will need to send the letter from the council showing you are entitled to this

If you do not have any of this evidence, you should not delay claiming.

5. How do I challenge a Funeral Payment decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your Bereavement Payment claim you can ask for a written statement of reasons. If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

See the Funeral Payments section in the Department for Work and Pensions Guide to the Social Fund (link opens in a new window) for more information.