Help with funeral expenses

Many funeral directors will waive basic fees for children's funerals. If you are on a low income you may be eligible for a funeral payment. This is a grant to help meet the costs of a simple funeral, and it doesn't need to be paid back.

You may be able to get a funeral payment if you are the child's parent, or you were receiving Child Benefit for the child who has passed away, and you are in receipt of one of the following 'qualifying benefits':

  • Income Support.
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Pension Credit.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit.
  • Child Tax Credit.
  • Universal Credit.

If you have taken on responsibility for funeral costs and you are neither the child's parent, nor someone who was getting Child Benefit for them, call our freephone helpline for further advice.

When might I be refused a funeral payment?

You will be refused if there is another parent - for instance an ex-partner - who is not getting a qualifying benefit. In these circumstances, you will only get a funeral payment if that other parent was 'estranged' from the child. By this, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) mean that there was a breakdown in the relationship between that other parent and your child. 

How to claim a funeral payment

You must claim within three months of the funeral, on form SF200, available from the Bereavement Service Helpline on 0345 606 0265. You can also download the form at gov.uk.

In Northern Ireland you can get a form from your local social security office or download it from nidirect.gov.uk

What costs does it cover?

Bear in mind that a funeral payment is only likely to meet some of the funeral costs. The gov.uk website has information on the types of funeral costs that can be met. More detailed information on the costs met, and of other potential sources of financial help, such as charitable trusts, is available from our freephone helpline.

If your child had any assets then a funeral payment may be recovered from their estate.

Next: Sorting out your finances