Press release

Views on proposed improvements to Funeral Expenses Payments sought

A consultation on changes to make it easier to claim a Funeral Expenses Payment has opened today (5 July 2017).

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Funeral Payments are available to people who receive certain income-related benefits to help pay for the funeral of an immediate friend or relative.

The government wants to make it clearer who is eligible for a payment and make it easier for people to claim.

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Caroline Dinenage said:

We understand what a distressing and difficult time it can be losing a loved one and we want to make the process of claiming a Funeral Payment as simple as possible. That’s why we have looked at a number of improvements to the process and are seeking people’s views on those.

The proposals include:

  • allowing recipients of a Funeral Expenses Payment to receive contributions from relatives, friends or charities without it being deducted from the payment
  • extending the claim period from 3 to 6 months from the date of the funeral
  • allowing applicants to submit evidence electronically to speed up the processing of claims and get decisions to claimants sooner

More information

Funeral Payments can help pay for:

  • burial fees and exclusive rights of burial in a particular plot
  • medical certification fees needed for cremations, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
  • travel to arrange or go to the funeral
  • the cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
  • death certificates or other documents
  • up to £700 for funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin

People in receipt of the following benefits may be eligible for a Funeral Payment:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-based Employment Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Child Tax Credit

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5111

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Published 5 July 2017