Funeral Costs & Financial Help

Funeral Costs

The costs of a funeral are divided into two parts: Funeral directors services and disbursements.

These are both presented on one invoice. In detail, the two parts are:

East Durham Funeral Service Fee’s

24 hour call-out service
A coffin
Delivery and preparation of all documentation
Funeral arrangements
Conveyance of the deceased
All necessary transportation Hearse and Limousine's
Hygiene treatment of the deceased


Disbursement is monies paid out by East Durham Funeral Service on your behalf, over which we have no control.

Crematorium or Cemetery fees
Organist fees
Floral tributes
Church fees
Doctors fees
Minister's fees
Newspaper announcements
Order of service
We will discuss all the necessary costs and details of the funeral arrangements with you, and will give you a
list of estimated costs.

If the deceased is the be cremated, a Cremation Certificate, signed by a doctor, will be issued. The cost of the certificate come under ‘Disbursements’ and will be listed on the funeral account.

Only when a death is referred to the Coroner, will these certificates be unnecessary.

Financial Help

If you are on a low income, or in receipt of certain benefits, you could be eligible for help you pay for the funeral. How much you are entitled to will depend on your individual circumstances.

The money won’t cover the full funeral cost, but will cover travel expenses, death certificates and cremation or burial fees, as well as up to £700 towards other costs such as Funeral Director’s fees, the coffin or casket and flowers.
The payment is set to increase in April 2020 to £1,000.

You can get help towards the cost of a funeral if you or your partner receive one of the following benefits
(England, Wales and NI):

Universal Credits
Income-related employment and support allowance
Disability or severe disability element of working tax credit
Income support
Pension credit
Child tax credit
Income-based jobseekers allowance
Housing benefit
Support for mortgage interest loan

Common Reasons For Refusal

Applications will usually be refused on the grounds that the applicant has savings or insurance, is not a partner,
close friend or relative of the person who died, that they are not in receipt of benefits or that they there is another
close relative or partner who is responsible. It is therefore worth taking the time to thoroughly review the
eligibility criteria before you apply.


Crowdfunding, Donations & Eligibility

The payment is means tested. However, the testing criteria no longer includes money raised via donations or
crowd-funding. Recipients of a Funeral Payment are able to receive contributions from relatives, friends or
charities without it being deducted from the payment.

For more information, visit the Funeral Expenses page on the GOV website.


What Does It Cover?

The Funeral Expenses Payment can help to pay for:

  • Burial/cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
  • Travel to the funeral
  • The cost of moving the deceased within the UK, if more than 50 miles
  • Death certificates or other documents

It also includes up to £700 for other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin. The cover for these additional expenses is set to rise to £1000 in April 2020.


How Much Is The Funeral Expenses Payment?

How much you get depends on your circumstances and takes into account funds from insurance policies or the deceased person’s estate. It will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral. The average payout in 2019 was around £1,400, this is set to increase in April 2020, as the government has raised the allowance for other costs from £700 to £1,000.


How To Apply

If you are in England or Wales, you can apply by phone by calling the Bereavement Service helpline, or by
downloading and filling in the claim form.