Funerals can be extremely expensive. For our tips on how to reduce funeral costs, read our dedicated article.

This article looks at what official governmental aid is available and what charity support you may be able to get if you can’t pay funeral costs.


After choosing your preferred funeral director, make sure you check with them that they can accept government benefits and also check whether or not they work directly with any charitable organisations to help with funeral costs.

help with funeral costs

What help with funeral costs is available?

There are a number ways in which you can apply for financial assistance to help pay for a funeral, including the government’s Funeral Payment Scheme, Bereavement Payments, the Widowed Parent Allowance and through some charitable organisations.


While not all of these options are specifically designed to help with funeral costs, they can provide some financial help when you need it most. Here we take a look at these assistance programs in greater detail, while also considering increasingly popular crowdfunding alternatives.


Funeral Payments Scheme

The Funeral Payment government scheme can aid those that don’t have the money to pay for a funeral and who are already claiming certain benefits. The money can go towards burial or cremation fees, funeral expenses, travel to or from the service and any costs associated with moving the body from one place to another.


While the maximum allowance is £700, the amount you receive will depend on the specifics of your financial situation. However, it is worth noting that this money will have to be repaid if there is sufficient resources in the deceased’s estate to do so.


Bereavement Payment

Bereavement payment is a one-off payment of £2000 that is paid to a spouse or civil partner in the event of death. It is tax-free and designed to help those who have recently lost someone that may have played an important financial role in a relationship.


However, the partner must have passed away before reaching the State Pension age and the Bereavement payment is dependent on having paid the right amount of National Insurance contributions. While this payment isn’t designed to specifically address the issue of funeral costs, it could be put to such uses.


Widowed Parent Allowance

If you are a parent that has recently lost a partner, you may be eligible for a widowed parent allowance. As long as you’re still supporting children, are receiving child benefit payments and are under the State Pension age, you could receive around £100 a week in financial assistance.


The deceased partner also needs to have paid enough National Insurance contributions for their spouse to qualify for the allowance.


Charitable organisations

There are a number of charitable organisations that can help lower the cost of a funeral. Most will require evidence that you’ve already tried to locate the money elsewhere before they release funds and receiving money in this way can affect other financial assistance, such as the Funeral Payment Scheme.


Such charities include Child Funeral Charity, British Gas Energy Trust, React and Leukaemia Care, but given the financial implications, it’s vital that you do the sums before applying for any assistance from these organisations. Remember also that charities tend to specialise. Depending on the illness and life circumstances of the deceased you may or may not be relevant to a particular charity.



Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular means of lowering funeral costs and sharing financial responsibility. Rather than the close family shouldering all of the costs, crowdfunding opens up the financing of a funeral to all that knew the deceased, giving people an opportunity to help out if they so wish.


This can be a great way to bring family and friends together to do something positive in memory of their loved one.


Funeral Finance

‘Beyond’ is the first in the UK to offer funeral finance, or credit. This effectively means that your funeral is paid for upfront and in full, and you pay this back in monthly installments. For a limited period we are offering funeral finance at no interest, or 0% APR.