Advice: Can I get help to pay for my husband’s funeral?

Pat Hutchinson MBE.
Pat Hutchinson MBE.
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Q: I am 82 years old and get Retirement Pension, Pension Credit and I get help with my rates. My husband died one month ago and I am struggling to pay for the funeral. Can I get help?

A: You may be able to get a Funeral Payment but it depends on the benefits you’re getting, your relationship with the person who died and any other money, other than your personal savings that may be available to help with the cost of the funeral.

You may be eligible for a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund if you or your partner is getting any of the following benefits or tax credits:

• Income Support

• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

• income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• Pension Credit

• Housing Benefit

• Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element

• Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element

The term ‘partner’ is used here to mean:

• a person you are married to, or person you live with as if you are married to them

• a civil partner, or person you live with as if you are civil partners

To be able to get a Funeral Payment you must also be either:

• the partner of the deceased when they died

• the parent of the deceased child, or have been responsible for the deceased child (and there is no absent parent) (unless they are getting one of the above qualifying benefits or were estranged from the child at the date of death)

• the parent of a still-born child

• a close relative or close friend of the deceased (and it is reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral costs)

When how much help you can get is worked out, how much money (other than your personal savings) is available to help you with the cost of the funeral will also be looked at. This could include money available from the estate of the person who died, contributions received and money from, for example, insurance policies.

It looks like you could be eligible for some help so call as soon as possible as the time limits for claiming help is three months from the date the person died.

• Get free, confidential and independent advice from your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau or log on to www.adviceguide.org.uk

Call Newtownabbey Citizens Advice Bureau, Dunanney Centre, Rathcoole, 028 9085 2271 or email enewtownabbey@citizensadvice.co.uk