Funeral payments from the DWP Social Fund


You could get a Funeral Payment from the DWP Social Fund if you are on a low income and require help to pay for a funeral that you are arranging. How much you receive depends upon your circumstances and if you qualify.

You will usually have to pay back any money you receive from the deceased person’s estate (if they have one). The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.

What you’ll get

How much you receive depends upon your circumstances.
The Funeral Payment can help pay for:

  • Reasonable burial fees and exclusive rights to burial in a particular plot
  • Reasonable cremation fees including the cost of cremation forms
  • Transport costs for you to either arrange or attend the funeral
  • The cost towards moving the deceased within 50 miles
  • Maximum £700 towards other funeral expenses

The following is not included:

  • Clergy and all other remaining costs
  • If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan the applicant shall only receive help for items not covered by the plan.

Eligibility

To qualify for a Funeral Payment the applicant must be responsible for the funeral and:

  • Claim within 3 months of the funeral
  • Receive certain benefits or tax credits. How much you are awarded depends on any other money available e.g. from an insurance policy or the deceased’s estate.

You (or your partner) must receive one of:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related 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

You must meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased – you must be one of the following:

  • The partner of the deceased when they died
  • A close relative or close friend of the deceased
  • The parent of a stillborn baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The parent of the deceased child under 16 years

If a parent is absent, you must be responsible for the child and the absent parent must also receive a qualifying benefit i.e. both parents must qualify for help. If there is a close relative of the deceased who is not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits you may not be able to claim Funeral Payment.

How to claim

You can claim a Funeral Payment using Form SF200 which can be download from the section below or over the telephone. You must claim within 3 months of the funeral, even if you are awaiting a decision on a qualifying benefit. You can only make a claim before the funeral if you have an invoice. An estimate will not be accepted. Complete the form and either take it to your local Jobcentre Plus or post it to

Balham Benefit Centre

Freepost RTGG-ZBGG-HYHT
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1HJ

Applications over the telephone:

Bereavement Service Helpline - Telephone 0345 6060265
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Appeals

You can appeal against the decision about your Funeral Payment if you are unhappy with it.

  • Telephone or write to the DWP to request a written statement of reasons to explain the decision
  • Ask for the decision to be re-assessed – this is known as ‘mandatory reconsideration’. You must tell the DWP why you disagree with its decision and show any evidence that you have to support this

What happens next

The DWP will write to inform you of the appeal outcome. They will send you two copies of the ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ explaining their reasons. They will telephone you if they are not going to change the decision or only change part of it.

Social Security and Child Support Tribunal

Appeals can be made to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you are still unhappy. They will let you know if they can deal with your case and explain why if they cannot. Appeals can be made, explaining your reasons, up to 13 months after the date of the original decision if you were:

  • Ill or in hospital
  • Coping with bereavement
  • Outside the United Kingdom
  • Unable to send your appeal form e.g. because of a postal strike

Budgeting Loans

Crisis loans are no longer available in England, Scotland or Wales. Budgeting Loans are now granted by the DWP to help with payment of outstanding funeral accounts.

Overview

Budgeting Loans are available to help pay for outstanding funeral accounts. The smallest amount you can borrow us £100.

Budgeting Loans are interest-free so you only pay back what you borrow. You normally have to pay them back within 104 weeks.

You can apply for a loan if you have been receiving income-related benefits for at least 26 weeks and you must still be receiving income related benefits when your application is being assessed.

Budgeting Loans will not affect your other benefits.

What you’ll get

You can get up to:

  • £348 if you’re single
  • £464 if you’re part of a couple
  • £812 if you have children.

How much you get depends on if you:

  • Can pay the loan back
  • Have any savings over £1000 (or £2000 if you or your partner are over 62)
  • Already owe money to the Social Fund – you cannot owe the Social Fund more than £1500

Eligibility

To qualify for a Budgeting Loan you or your partner must have been receiving one of these benefits for at least 26 weeks and you must still be receiving income related benefits when your application is being assessed.

Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit

How to claim

The form you need is Form SF500 witch can be download from the section below. Application forms are available at our office and at your local Jobcentre Plus. Send or take your form to your local Jobcentre Plus. Contact Jobcentre Plus if you have any questions about your claim.

Jobcentre Plus - Telephone 0345 6036967
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

If you are unhappy with a decision

You can ask for a Budgeting Loan decision to be reviewed if you are not happy with it. To do this you must write to Jobcentre Plus within 28 days of the decision, explaining why you think it was wrong.
If you still think the decision was wrong after the review, you can request a further review in writing by the Independent Case Examiner. This review should take no longer than 21 working days.
The following information is required in writing:

  • Your full name, address and telephone number
  • National Insurance number
  • Details of the item or items you applied for
  • The date of the decision made by Jobcentre Plus
  • The reasons why you disagree with the decision
  • Anything else you think they should know

If you want a representative to act on your behalf please provide the Independent Case Examiner with their name, address and telephone number.
Send your request to:

The Independent Case Examiner
PO Box 209
Bootle
L20 7WA

What happens next

The Independent Case Examiner shall ask Jobcentre Plus for details of your Budgeting Loan application.

The Further Reviewing Officer shall make a decision about your application.

If the Jobcentre Plus decision is wrong the Further Reviewing Officer will change it and write to you and Jobcentre Plus to explain their decision.

After review, if you are granted a Budgeting Loan or an alteration to the amount originally offered, Jobcentre Plus will send an award letter and agreement for you to sign. The agreement will explain the award and the repayment arrangements. Jobcentre Plus cannot issue payment until you return the signed agreement to them.

Funeral Wishes


By taking the initiative and setting out your funeral wish preferences before you die, is one less thing for your loved ones to worry about after your death.

Knowing that when the time comes, your loved ones will know exactly what your wishes are and be spared from having to make difficult choices, and you can get on with enjoying  the rest of your life.

This service is total free, just download the form, complete then post or email back to us and we will keep a copy on record for when the time comes. You should keep a copy of the form with all your personal documents for your family or whoever may be responsible for organising your funeral.

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