Mum says she has 'nothing left' without Universal Credit uplift
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Funeral Expenses Payment is available to DWP benefit claimants if they receive money from one of the department’s various social security schemes. The payment goes towards the costs that accumulate from arranging a funeral for a loved one, which often are costly for those on low-income. Usually, Funeral Expenses Payment goes towards the costs of burial fees, cremation fees, travel to the funeral, death certificates and moving the body.
Claimants can get up to £1,000 for other expenses, such as paying for the coffin, funeral director fees or even purchasing flowers for the ceremony.
However, it is important to note that the £1,000 received from Funeral Expenses Payment will not be enough to cover the entirety of the service.
The amount someone gets in financial support depends on their individual circumstances which affect their ability to afford the funeral.
This can include any potential insurance policy that has been taken out to cover the costs or money acquired through the deceased person’s estate.
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If the deceased has a pre-paid funeral already arranged, a benefit claimant can only get up to £120 in additional support as part of Funeral Expenses Payment.
All payments are paid directly into the claimant’s bank or building society account, if they have already paid for the funeral in advance.
If the claimant has not already paid for the funeral, the payment will be directly sent to the organiser of the ceremony, such as the funeral director.
Among the qualifying benefits schemes are Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
Furthermore, those who receive any amount from Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit are also available for this financial support.
On top of this, people may be eligible if they receive a Support for Mortgage Interest loan or if they are waiting for a decision to be made by the DWP regarding their initial benefit claim.
In order to receive any amount from Funeral Expenses Payment, the claimant must meet the relationship criteria regarding their connection to the deceased.
Claimants can either be the partner of the deceased when they died, a close relative or close friend of the deceased or the parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
In order to make a claim, those who receive DWP benefits must apply within six months of the funeral having taken place, even if they are still waiting for the DWP to make a decision regarding their qualifying benefit.
Claimants can put forward an application if they have an invoice with the ceremony costs from the funeral director.
Anyone looking to receive Funeral Expenses Payment can make a claim by calling the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469.
When calling this number, an advisor will discuss what other bereavement benefits the person may be entitled to, as well as Funeral Expenses Payment.
If someone’s claim is rejected, they can appeal to the Social Security and Child Benefit Tribunal to try and reverse the decision by the DWP.
Outside of DWP support, bereaved benefit claimants in Scotland are also eligible to receive a Funeral Support Payment, which is an additional funding option for those looking to pay off funeral costs.
For 2020/21, the average value of Funeral Support Payment is currently £1,804, an increase from an average of £1,791 in 2020/21.
However, this benefit payment is not available through the DWP but is administered by Social Security Scotland, so applications must be sent through that body.
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