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For families in England, Northern Ireland and Wales
If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for a Funeral Payment (also called a Funeral Expenses Payment). Scotland has its own system of Funeral Support Payments, which have replaced Funeral Expenses Payments.
This is a government grant to help meet the other 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.
- You may also be eligible if you get Support for Mortgage Interest loan payments from the Department for Work and Pensions.
What costs does it cover?
Bear in mind that a Funeral Payment is likely to meet only some of the funeral costs. The gov.uk website has information on the types of funeral costs it can meet. 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.
How to claim a Funeral Payment
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 government mean that there was a breakdown in the relationship between that other parent and your child.
For families in Scotland
Scotland has its own system of Funeral Support Payments, which have replaced Funeral Expenses Payments.
Children’s funeral funds
In England, a Children’s Funeral Fund reimburses funeral directors and burial authorities for the burial or cremation fees of a child under 18, while also providing £300 towards the costs of a coffin, shroud or casket for that child. The fund is not means-tested, so it makes no difference what income or savings you have.
See more information about the scheme in England
In Wales, families can claim £500 as a contribution towards the funeral cost of a child under the age of 18. Read more about the scheme in Wales.
In Northern Ireland, a new Child Funeral Fund will launch in June 2022. The Child Funeral Fund will make a one-off lump sum payment of £3,056 towards funeral costs, paid to the parent or to the funeral director for a basic funeral. The fund will not be means-tested, which means anyone can apply regardless of their income or savings. The Fund will not cover any costs that you have already received help with under the means tested funeral payments scheme.
In Scotland, it usually does not cost anything to bury or cremate a child under 18, and additional help is available through Funeral Support Payments.