Bereaved families to receive faster funeral payments

Families grieving the loss of a loved one will find it easier to receive help with the upfront costs of a funeral, the Department for Work and Pensions has announced.

Funeral Expenses Payment

Thanks to a significant process change to Funeral Expenses Payment claims, families mourning the loss of a loved one will now find it easier to receive support with meeting upfront funeral costs.

Previously, a Funeral Expense Payment claim could not be processed until a date the funeral was to take place was confirmed. This meant that payments to claimants took longer to be processed.

However, following an important change, families will now be able to make a claim with an estimated funeral date rather than a confirmed funeral date, providing other key information is supplied.

The Department for Work and Pensions has said using an estimated date in a claim is set ‘to significantly speed up the process and payment.’

Quicker access to funeral financial support

The new move coincides with another recent change to claims processing. Instead of receiving a final invoice (usually after the funeral), bereaved families can instead supply a funeral director contract as an indication of funeral cost.

This evidence can be submitted to the Bereavement Support team in advance of a funeral, meaning financial support can be accessed earlier.

What is a Funeral Expenses Payment claim?

A Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) offers those on certain benefits financial support for funerals they’re arranging.

Around 800 claims are received by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Bereavement Support team each week, helping families to pay for some of the costs of the following:

  • burial fees
  • cremation fees
  • travel expenses
  • moving the body within the UK (if it’s being moved more than 50 miles)
  • death certificates

Claimants can also get up to £700 for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin.

It should be noted that a Funeral Expenses Payment will be deducted from any money claimants receive from the deceased’s estate.

Department for Work and Pensions Minister Will Quince

On the new changes, DWP Minister Will Quince said:

“These important changes will make the very difficult time of planning a funeral or cremation that bit easier for bereaved families.

“Helping families access Funeral Expenses Payments sooner and more quickly means they can focus on the much more important task of arranging a proper send-off for their loved one.”

See also

What to do after someone dies: a checklist​

Bereaved parents to be spared the cost of their child's burial or cremation

A guide to prepaid funeral plans

Should under-20s write a will?

Find out more

Funeral Expenses Payment (Gov)

Department for Work and Pensions (Gov)

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