Payment Assistance

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We are often asked by families about what help is available when someone has died and left no funds to pay for their funeral. Under these circumstances, responsibility usually falls to the family to make and pay for the arrangements. This can however, bring serious worry for the relatives if they themselves do not have enough money to settle the funeral bill.

Claiming a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund

If the person making the funeral arrangements (usually a partner or close relative) is in receipt of a qualifying benefit, then you may be entitled to a payment from the Social Fund. This can cover the cremation and doctors fees and £700 towards the Funeral Directors & Minister's costs.

Claims are made using form SF200 which can be downloaded via the link below, or can be obtained from your local Jobcentre plus, or by calling the Bereavement Service Helpline on 0845 606 0265

It is important to understand that it does NOT matter what benefits the person who has died may have been receiving. Decisions regarding Funeral Payments from the Social Fund are linked to benefits that the family members receive. If there are close family members who do NOT receive qualifying benefits, then your claim may be unsuccessful.

Any money you do get is usually paid back from the deceased person’s estate (if they have one).

Full, clear and comprehensive information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Claiming a Bereavement Payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get Bereavement Payment: a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment of £2,000. There are eligibility criteria relating to payment of National Insurance Contributions and for the recipient to be under state pension age at the time of the death.

Again, detailed information and a link to download claim form BB1 is available here.


Golden Charter Funeral PlansNational Association of Funeral DirectorsSAIF Independent Funeral DirectorsThe Natural Death Centre