Can I get help with funeral costs?

- 26/11/21

With funeral costs continuing to rise each year, finding the money to pay for a funeral is causing increasing anxiety to families in the UK[1][2]. With many admitting to being unable to afford funeral costs and having to source additional funding to cover costs, it’s important to know if, and where, help with funeral expenses is available in these situations.

Applying for Government assistance in England and Wales

If you’re planning the funeral of a loved one and are unsure how you’ll afford it, check if you’re eligible for Government assistance via a Funeral Expenses Payment.

The Funeral Expenses Payment offers help towards funeral costs, such as:

  • Burial or cremation fees
  • Transport to the funeral
  • Transportation of the deceased
  • Death certificates, doctor’s certificates and other documents

You may also be eligible for an additional payment of £1,000 to use towards additional costs like funeral director’s fees, flowers and a coffin. If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan in place, however, this payment will be reduced down to a maximum of £120 to cover any funeral expenses not included in their plan. While the Funeral Expenses Payment likely won’t cover the full cost of a funeral, which now averages £9,263 for a full funeral and £4,184 for a basic funeral, it will help towards funeral costs[1].

Applying for Government assistance in Scotland

Working in a very similar way to the English and Welsh support scheme, in Scotland you can get help paying for a funeral too. You’ll need to check your eligibility and apply for a Funeral Support Payment. First, you’ll need to check you meet the Scottish eligibility criteria before applying.

If eligible, the Funeral Support Payment amount will be calculated and paid out to the applicant, with the average payment being £1,700. The costs supported by the Funeral Support Payment include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial or cremation costs
  • Transport to the funeral
  • Transport of the deceased
  • Documentation costs
  • Additional medical costs

As with England and Wales, the amount receivable will be decreased, if the deceased had a prepaid funeral plan in place at the time of death. In these instances, the amount receivable would be reduced to £123.25 which can be used towards additional funeral costs not covered by the plan.

Consider your options

When arranging a funeral, many of us feel the need to overspend on extras such as flowers and limousines. We’ve even admitted to feeling pressured to buy a more expensive coffin than we felt comfortable with[1]. When we see the statistics with figures like £9,000 and £4,000 it can feel intimidating, especially if you know you wouldn’t be able to afford that amount. In fact, almost half of us feel that way, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of a funeral upfront if a loved one passed away tomorrow[2].

However, funerals don’t have to be expensive outings. Simple affordable funerals are available, massively reducing the cost of a funeral. With a simple direct cremation starting from just £995 at Distinct Cremations, you can offer your loved ones a respectful dignified funeral for a fraction of the cost of a traditional funeral.

Sources:

  1. SunLife (2021)
  2. Distinct Cremations (2021)

Distinct Cremations is a trading name of Distinct Cremations Limited I Registered in England, No. 13366310 and Distinct Funeral Plans Limited (Prepaid Funeral plan provider) I Registered in England, No. 13366327 | Registered Office Westerleigh Crematorium, Westerleigh Road, Bristol BS37 8QP | Part of the Westerleigh Group |