Help with funeral expenses
Many funeral directors will waive basic fees for children's funerals. In Wales, local authorities do not charge burial fees for children. There are also other forms of financial help with funeral costs.
Children's Funeral Fund in England
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. For more information search GOV.UK for support for child funeral costs.
If you are on a low income you may also be eligible for a funeral payment. This is a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions to help meet the other costs of a simple funeral, and it doesn't need to be paid back. Scotland has its own system of Funeral Support Payments.
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 DWP.
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 0800 731 0464. 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.
Support with funerals in Scotland
Scotland has its own system of funeral support payments that have replaced funeral expenses payments.