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Department for Work & Pensions

Department for Work & Pensions

The Department of Work and Pensions offers help and assistance to anyone living in the UK who is on a low income and needs help towards a funeral that they are arranging.

Can you get help?

You may be able to get help towards the cost of a funeral if
  • you or your partner arranged the funeral in the United Kingdom (UK), and
  • the person who has died had their main home in the United Kingdom when they died

We use partner to mean

  • a person you are married to and live with, or a person you lived with as if you were married to them, or
  • a civil partner you live with or a person you lived with as if you were civil partners


You can only get help towards the cost of a funeral if you or your partner are getting one of the following qualifying benefits or entitlements:
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element
  • From April 2014 to April 2015 this means a Child Tax Credit rate of £548 a year or more. These figures are for a whole year and will be less for part-years or
You may be able to get help towards the cost of the funeral if
  • you have made arrangements for the funeral, and
  • you claim within the time limits, and
  • you fall into one of the groups of people who are eligible to claim


Who can claim?

You may get a Funeral Payment if you fall into one of the following groups:
  • you were the partner of the person who has died at the time of death For the purposes of claiming a Funeral payment we still treat someone as your partner if you were married to them and were living with them, living with them as a couple, living with them as civil partners or, immediately before you or they went to live in a care home. Or if you were married or civil partners and living in the same care home
  • the person who has died was a child for whom you were responsible and there is no absent parent (unless they were getting one of the benefits listed in note 2 of this notes booklet when the child died)

The expression ‘child’ means a person who is treated as a child for the purpose of the Child Benefit Act, which is: 1. a person under the age of 16 2. a person under the age of 20, not receiving full-time education and the prescribed conditions are satisfied in relation to them, or 3. a person over the age of 20 who is receiving non-advanced full-time education by attendance at either a) a recognised educational establishment, or b) elsewhere when it is recognised by the Secretary of State.

  • you were the parent of a still-born child born 24 weeks or later
  • you were a close relative or close friend of the person who has died and it is reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral costs, given the nature and extent of your contact with the person who has died

By close relative we mean:

  • parent, father-in-law, mother-in-law or step-parent
  • son, son-in-law, step-son or step-son-in-law
  • daughter, daughter-in-law, step-daughter or step-daughter-in-law
  • brother or brother-in-law
  • sister or sister-in-law

You cannot get a payment as a close relative or close friend of the person who has died if

  • the person who has died had a partner when they died, or
  • there is a parent, son or daughter of the person who has died who is not getting a qualifying benefit and whose relationship with the person who has died had not broken down, unless that person is, at the date of death
  • under 18
  • a qualifying young person for the purpose of child benefit
  • aged 18 or over and in full-time education
  • receiving asylum support from the National
  • Asylum Support Service (NASS)
  • a fully maintained member of a religious order
  • in prison or hospital immediately following a period on a qualifying benefit
  • ordinarily living outside the United Kingdom

If there is another close relative of the person who has died who is not getting a qualifying benefit, we may need to consider their circumstances.

How to claim

Download the form SF200 (useful downloads) and fill the booklet in and send it to your local Jobcentre Plus. You must claim within 3 months of the date of the funeral. If you are waiting for a decision on a qualifying benefit or entitlement you must still claim within the time limit.

Send us

  • the funeral director’s final bill as soon as you get it.

Help and advice

The information in these notes is only a general guide to claiming a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund.

If you want to talk to someone about Funeral Payments get in touch with Jobcentre Plus. We can arrange for someone to see you at home if this is necessary, or at Jobcentre Plus. You can find the phone number and address in the business section of the phone book. Look under Jobcentre Plus.

You can also get more information from

If you have difficulty filling in the claim form, someone else can fill it in for you. But remember, you must sign the form yourself.

Jobcentre Plus can help you fill in the form or you can ask a relative, or friend, or someone at an advice centre.

The help you can get

When you arrange the funeral, please tell the funeral director that you will be claiming a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund.

We can only consider certain costs, and you will be responsible for the balance.

The list below sets out what can be included in the Funeral Payment:

  • the cost of reopening a grave and burial costs, or
  • the cost of opening a new grave and burial costs, including any exclusive right of burial fee, NB this includes a reclaimed grave, or
  • in the case of a cremation – the cremation fee – the cost of any doctor’s certificates – the cost of removing a pacemaker or other medical device which must be removed before the cremation
  • the cost of any documents needed for the release of the money, savings and property of the person who has died
  • when it is necessary to move the body over 50 miles within the United Kingdom to the funeral director’s premises or place of rest, the reasonable cost of that part of the journey which is over 50 miles
  • when the journey to the funeral is necessarily over 50 miles, the cost of that part of the journey which is over 50 miles for the transport of the coffin and bearers
  • the necessary cost of a return journey for you to either – arrange the funeral, or – go to the funeral
  • up to £700 for any other funeral expenses. This amount includes all other costs in connection with the funeral. This might include the coffin, cars and the funeral director’s fees

If you have used a funeral director and have a bill for an item that has not been provided by the funeral director.

This might be, for example, flowers. We may be able to help with these if the amount paid to the funeral director for other funeral expenses is less than £700.

About any money you may be able to use for the funeral

When we work out how much help you can get we will look also at any money that is available to help to pay for the funeral. This may include money from the estate of the person who has died. We will take this money into account when we work out how much we can pay you and this may affect the amount we can pay. This may include

  • money in a bank, building society or Post Office® account. You may be able to ask the bank or building society to pay the funeral bill if there is enough money in the account
  • money from insurance policies
  • money from an occupational pension scheme
  • money from a burial club or something like this
  • any savings or cash of the person who has died
  • contributions towards the cost of the funeral from relatives or charities

About any money you may be able to use for the funeral

We will not take into account any arrears of benefit, any lump sum Bereavement Payment of £2,000 from social security or compensation payments from the following government funded trusts.

  • the MacFarlane Trust
  • the MacFarlane (Special Payments) Trust
  • the MacFarlane (Special Payments) (No 2) Trust
  • the Fund
  • the Eileen Trust
  • the Department of Health payments in respect of victims of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease
  • the Skipton Fund
  • the Caxton Foundation
  • the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund
  • MFET Ltd

How we will pay you

Once your claim has been approved, we will send your funeral payment directly to Lilleywhite Funeral Service

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  • We would like to thank you all for primarily your extraordinary kindness throughout our loss, for your support, professionalism, tenderness, the shared sorrow and acknowledgement of the enormity of our loss. For every kind word spoken, each and every gesture made, for fulfilling every request and for the respect and care shown to our beautiful boy. Words are inadequate to describe to you all how much it meant to us

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  • There are some days in one's life when we want to get 'it' right, we may not even know quite what 'it' is and what is expected for folk to say 'it' was right. Simon, both you and those people with whom you work offered a balance of sincere support, professional competence, patience, dignity and time when i needed "it".

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  • Many thanks for your kindness in providing help and advice and for your arrangements of my sons funeral, you made it seem so easy at a very difficult time. May I extend my thanks to the Lilleywhite family and staff in providing a caring and dignified funeral when you want to make it perfect for your loved one.

    Christine Szabo, Barry Jones and family

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  • Rushelle and Stewart, Thank you so much for all your kind support. It was a great comfort to me as you were there at just the right time - as there were some difficult moments. you are both wonderful

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  • William (Bill) Haslam I would just like to thank Stewart and Simon, and all at Lilleywhites for your professional and personal services at Billy's funeral. The family cannot express enough how grateful we are for making Billy's final journey so dignified.

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  • This is a belated note to express my sincere thanks for all you help and kindness for your services, following Jim's sad passing last September. The kindness and peace of mind that we all got from your staff was a real help during our time of grief and for that I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of all the family. Thank you once again and for a great service, it was greatly appreciated

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Contact Us

Lilleywhite Funeral Service

Kenyon House, 301 Bury Old Road

Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JA

Tel: 0161 773 2749

+44 (0) 161 773 2749 (from overseas)

Fax: 0161 773 2882

+44 (0) 161 773 2882 (from overseas)

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