Government Funeral Payments: Who Qualifies?
Those on low incomes may be able to get a Government Funeral Payment if you are arranging for a funeral and need help paying for it. It won’t cover much, but it is potentially a help. However, you should first see if:
- They have a prepaid funeral plan certificate. At the moment there is no central register to check, unfortunately.
- They have some sort of life insurance to pay for the funeral (check bank statements or look for a policy document.)
- If the deceased had money in the bank, the bank will normally release funds direct to the funeral director. What they will NOT do is re-imburse you if you pay personally. Then you would have to wait until probate had been granted, if it proved necessary.
How much you get depends on your circumstances and if you qualify.
You will generally have to pay it back from the deceased person’s estate if it has any money or property. If they leave a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, then most other assets are ring fenced.
The Government Funeral Payment can help pay for burial, cremation, doctors fees, up to £700 for funeral expenses, travel, the costs for moving the body within the UK but only for the part of the journey that’s over 50 miles.
If the person who died had a prepaid funeral plan, then you can only get help for things not covered – see the list on the claim form.
The money is most usually paid direct to he funeral director
To get a Goverment Funeral Payment you must be
- responsible for the funeral and:
- claim in time – within 3 months of the funeral.
- get certain benefits or tax credits – you can still claim if you are waiting for a decision on whether or not you qualify, though that might delay payment.
- meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased (theyare different if the person died outside the UK.)
Who can claim the Governments Funeral Payment?
You must be either:
- the partner of the deceased at the time of death or
- a close relative or close friend of the deceased or
- the parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy or
- the parent of the deceased child, if they were under 16 (or under 20 and not in fulltime education.)
- If the parent is ‘absent’, you must be responsible for the child and the absent parent must get a qualifying benefit.
You (or your partner) must get 1 of:
- Income Support
- incomebased Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- incomerelated Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
- one of the extra elements of Child Tax Credit.
- Universal Credit
How much you get also depends on any other money available, eg from an insurance policy or the deceased’s estate.
If there’s a close relative of the deceased who isn’t getting one of the qualifying benefits you may not be able to claim Funeral Payment.
How to claim the Governments Funeral Payment.
You can claim a Funeral Payment using form SF200 or over the phone 0345 606 0265 if you are in England and Wales. NI has other arrangements.
You can then either sen the form to: Balham Benefit Centre, Freepost RTGGZBGGHYHT, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 1HJ or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus.