Financial Assistance for Bereavement

Paying for a funeral can be costly and supporting yourself financially after the passing of a loved one may be worrying. However, there are some that qualify for financial assistance. Find out more, in this post.

Planning a funeral is something that no one wants to do. It’s a difficult and traumatic time, and with the stress of planning a funeral, it can feel overwhelming. But, it’s something that has to be done. For some, the costs can be another added stress to an already difficult situation. However, there are some in the UK that qualify for financial assistance when it comes to covering funeral costs. For those left widowed after the death of a partner, it may be concerning worrying about money. There is support available, if you’re eligible.

We’ve spoken to Southend on Sea funeral directors, S. Stibbards & Sons, to find out more information on those that qualify for financial assistance when it comes to covering funeral costs. In this post, you’ll find all the necessary information on who qualifies for financial assistance, and how to claim for financial aid. Find out more, in this post.

Types of Financial Assistance for Funeral Costs

Planning a funeral is never cheap. There is so much to pay for including the flowers, chapel of rest, service, the coffin, and so on. Fortunately, there are three different types of financial assistance available for those in the UK, in need of financial assistance for funeral costs and to support themselves after the loss of a partner. The following are:

  • Social Fund Funeral Payment
  • Widowed Parents Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance

Each type of financial assistance has set criteria, and if you meet these criteria, you’ll be able to claim and receive financial assistance. We’ll go through each of these types in detail.

Social Fund Funeral Payment

Social Fund is for those that are on low income wages, in need of funding for a funeral they need to pay for. If there are funds in the estate of the person who has passed away, it’s expected that the funds are repaid. However, this is only if the person has sufficient funds in their estate – if not, social fund is not expected to be repaid. Depending on the amount in the estate, some or all is expected to be repaid.

In order to qualify for social fund, those claiming will have to be arranging the funeral within the UK, Switzerland or the European Economic Area (EEA). Those claiming will also need to be receiving certain benefits or tax credits and must meet the regulations on the relationship with the deceased. If you or your partner are on the following benefits or tax credits, you are eligible to receive funeral payment from the Social Fund:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (Disability or Severe Disability)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance

If you or your partner, who has passed, meet these criteria, you can claim from the Social Fund. However, in order to qualify for Social Fund for the deceased, you need to be related to them in a certain way. Your partner can be defined as someone you’re married to and do or don’t live with, or someone you’re in a civil partnership with, that you do or don’t live with. Other relations to the deceased can be:

  • A close friend or relative of the deceased
  • A parent or person responsible for a deceased child, under the age of 16 (or under 20 in approved education or training)
  • A parent of a baby still born after 24 weeks of pregnancy

Social Fund covers funeral costs for those who are eligible. For those that are eligible and want to claim, you must call the Bereavement Service helpline and speak to an adviser. They will be able to help you claim and inform you of any other bereavement benefits you may be entitled to.

The contact details for the Bereavement Service helpline are: 0345 606 0265.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA)

Parents whose partners have passed away, be it husband, wife or civil partner, and have a child who you receive Child Benefit for, you could be eligible for Widowed Parent’s Allowance. The criteria for eligibility are as follows:

  • If your husband, wife or civil partner passed away before 6th April 2017
  • If you’re under State Pension age
  • If you were entitled to Child Benefit for one child and your deceased wife, husband or civil partner was their parent
  • If your civil partner, husband or wife paid towards National Insurance
  • If your civil partner, husband or wife died in an industrial accident or disease
  • If you’re pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has passed away
  • If you’re pregnant and your husband has passed away

However, you will be unable to claim if you were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner when they passed away or have remarried. If you’re living with the person you remarried or have formed as civil partnership with then you will be unable to claim. Those over the State Pension age when widowed cannot claim – however you may qualify for extra state pension. If you are in prison, you do not qualify for WPA.

Bereavement Allowance

Bereavement Allowance is a weekly benefit, which is usually paid for up to 52 weeks after the passing of your husband, wife or civil partner. To qualify for Bereavement Allowance the following criteria must be met:

  • If your husband, wife or civil partner passed away before 6th April 2017
  • If you were 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner passed away
  • If you’re under the State Pension Age
  • If your civil partner, husband or wife paid towards National Insurance
  • If your civil partner, husband or wife died in an industrial accident or disease

However, if the following applies to you, you will not be eligible:

  • If you’re raising a child or children (you can claim WPA)
  • If you remarry or form a new civil partnership
  • If you live with another person you’re married to or in a civil partnership with
  • If you were divorced at the time of your wife’s, husband’s or partner’s passing
  • If you were over the state pension age at the time of death
  • If you’re in prison

Call the Bereavement Advice helpline to speak to an adviser to see if you qualify for any of the financial assistance above. Whether it’s for funeral costs or to support you after your patner’s passing, you may qualify for financial assistance.