We Can Help
The passing of a loved one is a difficult time for family and friends. For many, payment funeral costs can be a challenging expense. There are a range of government support schemes in place offering financial help for those that need it.
Here we will provide some information on the types of government financial support available for assisting with funeral costs.
Funeral Expenses Payment
The government scheme Funeral Expenses Payment provides financial support for those who claim particular benefits. As a result, there is a specific criteria in terms of the benefits and relationship to the deceased that impacts eligibility for this support scheme.
As it stands, the Funeral Expenses Payment outlines that you can receive expenses support of up to:
- £700 if the deceased passed before 8 April 2020
- £1,000 if the deceased passed after 8 April 2020
Factors such as existing funds, insurance policies and the deceased person’s estate will affect the amount of financial support you will be eligible to receive.
This scheme is not available for people living in Scotland, however there is similar financial support in the form of the Funeral Support Payment.
The Budgeting Loan offers support towards the cost of a funeral through an interest free loan. Similar to the Funeral Expenses Payment, this financial support is available to those on specific income related benefits.
As part of the eligibility criteria, those looking for Budgeting Loan support need to have been claiming the following benefits over the past 6-months:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
There are borrowing limits associated with this support, with the maximum currently being £812 if you or your partner claim Child Benefit, and the lowest amount being £100. To help with repayments, you only pay back the amount you have borrowed and these payments are automatically taken from your benefits.
Bereavement Support Payment
The Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) offers financial support if your spouse or civil partner has passed away within the last 21-months. This support comes in the form of a one off payment, followed by 18-monthly payments.
In order to qualify for the Bereavement Support Payment, your partner will need:
- To paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks in one tax year
- To have passed away because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work
Furthermore, when your spouse or civil partner passed away, you must have been:
- Under the State Pension age
- Living in the UK or a country that pays bereavement benefits
- Public Health Funeral
There are time restrictions on claiming which can impact the amount you receive. You need to claim within 3-months of your partner’s death in order to receive the full available amount. Despite this, claims can be made up to 21-months following their death, however this will impact the number of monthly payments you will receive.
Currently, the Bereavement Support Payment offers two payment rates:
- Higher rate – first payment of £3,500 followed by monthly payments of £350
- Lower rate – first payment of £2,500 followed by monthly payments of £100
Public Health Funeral
In circumstances where alternative arrangements are not possible due to insufficient funds, local authorities have a statutory duty to arrange funerals for people who have passed away within their boundaries. In situations such as these, the local council will typically recover the funeral costs through the estate of the deceased if possible.
You can find details of your local council here.
Havill Funeral Service is Here to Help
Our friendly, experienced, and supportive team are always on hand to provide funeral advice. If you wish to speak with us, please feel free to contact us today.