Help with funeral costs in 2022: a complete guide

8 December 2022 by Robin - 9 minutes of reading time

help with funeral costs 2022

Can I receive help with funeral costs? What is it? How much can I receive? You may have just experienced the death of a loved one. The Funeral Expenses Payment could help you pay for a funeral if you are still struggling. This Your Benefits article will tell you everything that you need to know about help with funeral costs.

What is help with funeral costs?

You may need help with your funeral costs. If this is the case, you may be eligible for Funeral Expenses Payment. You will need to receive one of the qualifying benefits for this aid. Additionally, you will have to have had a certain relationship with the deceased.

If you live in Scotland, you may apply for a different benefit. In fact, you may be able to receive Funeral Support Payment. This benefit is the replacement for Funeral Expenses Payment.

Can I get help with funeral costs?

In order to be eligible for help with funeral costs, your circumstances will have to make you eligible. Then, you will need to be earning a qualifying benefit. Finally, you will need to have had a certain relationship with the deceased.

First, for you to qualify, all of the following must apply. You must:

  • Be arranging the funeral either in the United Kingdom, Switzerland or in a country in the European Economic Area;
  • Have had a certain relationship with the deceased;
  • Receive a qualifying tax credit or benefit.

What are the qualifying tax credits or benefits?

In order to qualify, you or your partner must receive at least one of the following:

If you currently receive a Support for Mortgage Interest Loan, you might also qualify for Funeral Expenses Payment. However, a close relative of the deceased individual (like a parent, brother or sister) may be employed. If this is the case, you could not be able to receive help with funeral costs through Funeral Expenses Payment.

You may have sent in your claim for any of these benefits and have yet to hear back. If this is the case, do not worry. You are still able to apply for Funeral Expenses Payment.

You may not have been the parent of a deceased child, but still responsible for them. If this is the case, at least one of the benefits needs to be awarded to the non-resident parent. 2 close relative of your deceased loved one may not be awarded of the qualifying benefits. Then, you may not be able to apply for Funeral Expenses Payment.

Relationship with the deceased

How much is help with funeral costs?

In order to be eligible for this benefit, your relationship with the deceased must have been one of the qualifying conditions for this benefit. In other words, you were one of the following:

  • The individual responsible for, or the parent of, a child who was under 16 years old at the date of their death (if they were in an approved training or education, they could be under 20 years old);
  • The parent of a baby that, after 24 weeks of pregnancy, was stillborn;
  • Either a close friend or close relative of the individual who died;
  • The partner of the individual at the time of their death.

What if I live in Switzerland or in the European Economic Area (EEA)?

If you live in the EEA or Switzerland, you will need to contact the Social Fund in order to see if you qualify. You may do so by phone, through Relay UK or with the video relay service. They are available Monday through Friday, from 8am to 6pm. You can call 0800 731 0469.

How much is help with funeral costs?

You may be managing the estate of the deceased individual. If this is the case, money you receive from this will help with funeral costs, and will be deducted to pay for Funeral Expenses Payment.

What is considered an estate? The estate of the deceased is any property or money (excluding personal belongings and their homes) that they had and decided to give to a surviving civil partner, widower or widow upon their death.

Funeral Expenses Payment may help you in covering some funeral costs. They include:

  • Death certificates and other relevant documents;
  • Costs incurred from moving the body more than 50 miles within the United Kingdom;
  • Cremation fees, not excluding the doctor’s certificate’s cost;
  • Travel costs incurred from organizing and going to the funeral;
  • Burial fees incurred from choosing a particular plot.

You may receive additional help for other expenses, like the coffin, flowers and the fees of the funeral director.

The amount you could get is up to £1,000. Note that you may receive help with the costs of the funeral. However, the total expenses incurred may not be covered. This means that although Funeral Expenses Payment will help, most of the time, it will not completely cover your costs.

How is Funeral Expenses Payment paid?

You may have already made the payments for the funeral. If this is the case, you will receive money directly into your credit union, building society or bank account.

However, you may not have paid for the expenses yet. If this is true, then the money will go straight to the person in charge of organizing the funeral. This may be the funeral director, for example.

What will impact the money that I can receive?

Your personal circumstances and situation will impact the amount of help with funeral costs that you receive. You may have money that could help in paying for the expenses.

This may include the estate of the deceased or certain insurance policies. Then, you may either receive less help, or money could be deducted from your other sources to help pay for Funeral Expenses Payment.

Your deceased loved one may have had a pre-paid funeral plan. If this is the case, you may only receive up to £120 in order to cover expenses for items not included in their specific plan.

Claim help with funeral costs

In order to get help with funeral costs, you will need to claim Funeral Expenses Payment. To do so, you need to make your claim no more than 6 months from the funeral. Do this even if you are still waiting for a decision on a claim for a qualifying benefit.

You may be able to make a claim before the funeral. However, to do this, you must have either a signed contract or invoice. It must come from the funeral director, and has to be an exact amount. If it is an estimate, you may not claim Funeral Expenses Payment before the funeral.

You may receive Universal Credit. If this is the case, you will need to wait your following payment in order to receive a decision on Funeral Expenses Payment.

You can claim this Funeral Expenses Payment by phone, by calling the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469. There, you can talk to an adviser. They should be able to let you know what other bereavement benefits you may be able to receive.

You may also do your claiming process by post. In this case, you will need to download the correct claim form (SF200). Then, fill it out and send it to the address indicated on the document.

How may I claim Funeral Expenses Payment if I live in Northern Ireland?

Claim help with funeral costs

If you live in Northern Ireland, your application process may be different. Indeed, you may apply for help with funeral costs by phone. If you wish to do this, you will need to call the Bereavement Service helpline.

You may also download the claim form directly. You will need to fill out one of two forms. First, it could be the Funeral Expenses Payment application form (SF200 adult).

Second, it could be the Funeral Expenses Payment application form (SF200 child). If you wish to ask for a form, do this by calling the Bereavement Service helpline. 

What if I disagree with the decision?

You may disagree with the decision that was taken on your Funeral Expenses Payment claim. If this is the case, you can submit an appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal.

You may be able to demand a ‘mandatory reconsideration‘. However, before doing this, check your decision letter. You may instead be able to simply ask for your claim to be looked at again.

What other help with funeral costs could I get?

If you are organizing the funeral of a loved one, it could be because they were recently deceased. Additionally, you may need financial help. If this is the case, you might also be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment. Then, you could get help with funeral costs.

You may qualify if your loved one’s death occurred no more than 21 months ago. If it did, you may still be eligible if their cause of death was confirmed after 21 months.

Bereavement Support Payment consists of one large payment you will receive first, followed by smaller payments you will receive monthly. There are two different rates. What and how much you receive depends on how fast you claim this benefit after your loved one’s death.

How much will Bereavement Support Payment get me?

If you require financial help with funeral costs loved one, you could benefit from this aid. Indeed, if you apply for this no more than 3 months after your partner’s death, you could receive the full possible amount. The more you wait, the lower the rate. Additionally, you will receive less monthly payments.

Higher and lower rate of Bereavement Support Payment in 2022
Rate First single payment Subsequent monthly payments amount
Lower rate £2,500 £100
Higher rate £3,500 £350
You may not apply for this benefit more than 21 months after the death of your loved one. The exception is if their cause of death is discovered after 21 months.

How may I claim Bereavement Support Payment?

In order to claim this benefit, you will need a few information. They are as follows:

  • Your own and your partner’s National Insurance number;
  • The account details of your bank or building society;
  • The date of the death of your late partner.

You may claim online, by phone or by post. The online service is a trial. As such, apart from those applying from Northern Ireland, the number of online applicants will be limited. You can claim online on the Gov.UK website.

To apply by phone, like the Funeral Expenses Payment, contact the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469. To apply by post, download the Bereavement Support Payment form (BSP1), fill it out and send it to the address indicated on it.
Autres questions fréquentes

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

Ask our experts a question

Your questions
  • Jean phillips

    My son had to close his business as he had major cancer surgery in 2020 but is still poorly …however he is slowly recovering albeit he has to take large daily doses of Tramadol & Gabapentin but still has dreadful pain & can only eat soup or soft food ……however the last 18 months he has been a full time carer for his dad often staying the night ….(his doctor will confirm all this )
    On October 28th his dad passed away in Ward 23 at Arrowe Park hospital following a massive stroke at his home 2 weeks before ….the funeral was November 10th … total funeral costs are over £5000 ….I am 82 disabled living on my own Pension Credit divorced from sons dad but always remained friends but I cannot contribute to funeral bill other than £280 for the flowers ..can my son claim any funeral costs from the government please to help towards paying Funeral Directors etc

    • Robin


      He should indeed be able to claim this help.

      Hope this helps,

  • keith

    i am on esa and pip my son recently died my esa is is based on national insurance contributions do i or should i recieveany help dwp sent me a letter to say i am not entitled to anything

    • Robin


      Unfortunately, HMRC determines your eligibility. Then, if they say you are not eligible, you likely are not. However, make sure that you reported your changes of circumstance.

      Hope this helps,

  • jakab sheila

    my husband died recently the life insurance didn’t cover the cost of the funeral and I am on benefits can I claim the balance from somewhere

    • Robin


      This is the only benefit i am aware of that allows you to claim help on funeral costs.

      Hope this helps,

  • Michael Thomas

    My friend has died he is unemployed and on benefits , lived in is own flat from the council and is 35. Can his mother get any funeral expenses as she works and is the next of kin.

    • Robin


      Yes, I believe that they would be eligible.

      Hope this helps,

  • Logue Brendan

    I am 73 years old live in ni only benifits I’m on is state pension attendance allowance and reduction in rent can I claim furneal help if my wife dies

    • Robin


      Yes, I believe that you would be eligible.

      Hope this helps,

  • beverley milsted

    hello can i clam for my mums funeral ?.
    i have employment and support allowance mum died on 07/07/2022 thank you.

    • Robin


      I am sorry for your loss. If your ESA is income-related (meaning that you get the benefit because of a reason linked with your income), then you should be eligible.

      Thank you and have a good day,

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