- A Guide to Funerals and Funeral Directors
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Government assistance

People who have trouble paying for the cost of a funeral may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund.

The Social Fund is a resource run by the Department of Work and Pensions to provide loans and payments to people on low-incomes who are suddenly faced with a one-off expenditure, such as the cost of a funeral.

The amount of money available covers the cost of burial or cremation, plus an additional payment capped at £700 for funeral directors’ fees and some additional expenses, such as coffins and flowers.

However, proving you qualify for a Funeral Payment is complicated, as you have to prove you satisfy both of the following criteria:

  • Be a recipient of one of the main social-security benefits, such as jobseekers’ allowance or housing benefit (a full list is provided on the Funeral Payments webpage)
  • Be the partner or parent of the deceased. Funeral Payments can also be applied for by close friends, but only if there are no family members who are in a position to pay for the funeral themselves

If a Funeral Payment is awarded, then it usually has to be paid back from the estate of the person who has died.

A full of explanation of the Funeral Payment system is provided on the Directgov website. To apply for one, you need to download Form SF200, or you can visit your local Job Centre Plus office in person.


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