Funeral Support Payment

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A Funeral Support Payment is a one-off grant to help meet the costs of a funeral if you are on a low income.

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What is a Funeral Support Payment?

A Funeral Support Payment is a one-off grant to help meet the costs of a funeral if you are on a low income. Because it is a grant, you do not have to repay it. The funeral can be for a partner, close friend or a family member, including a stillborn child.

Who can get a Funeral Support Payment?

You will only be considered for a payment if it is reasonable for you to have accepted responsibility for the costs of the funeral. You may be refused a grant if there are others who had a closer family relationship, unless there are other factors such as estrangement that mean it was reasonable for you to accept responsibility for funeral costs. Only one person can get Funeral Support Payment for the same funeral.

In addition, you can only apply for a Funeral Support Payment if you are on are getting a qualifying benefit. This means you or your partner must be getting one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support.
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Child Tax Credit.
  • Working Tax Credit that includes the disabled worker or severe disability element,
  • Pension Credit.
  • Universal Credit (including if you this has stopped within the last month).

You must also normally live in Scotland, and the deceased must have lived somewhere in the UK. You also cannot be a person who is subject to immigration control.

Normally the funeral must take place in the UK. Seek further advice if it is taking place elsewhere in the European Economic Area or in Switzerland.

You can apply at any point in the six months after your loved one has died. If you missed this six month deadline due to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, your application should still be accepted.

What costs are covered?

Usually a Funeral Support Payment won’t cover the full costs of the funeral. However, it should be enough to cover the following:

  • The cost of a burial plot, burial fees and the cost of grave-digging.
  • Cremation fees including the cost of removing a pacemaker.
  • If required, the costs of any medical references and medical certificates.
  • The costs of documents required to release the assets of the person who died.
  • Transport costs for the amount of journeys in excess of 80 kilometres, that are to:
    • Transport the body within the UK to a funeral director’s premises or to a place of rest.
    • Transport the coffin and bearers in a hearse and the mourners in another vehicle from the funeral director’s premises or place of rest to the funeral.
  • Cost of one return journey undertaken to make arrangements for the funeral, but not exceeding the cost of a return journey from your home to the place of burial or cremation.
  • A payment of £1000 towards other funeral expenses, or £122.05 if the person who has died was aged 18 or over when s/he died and had a pre-paid funeral plan.

If the burial or cremation takes place in an area in which the person who has died wasn’t living, and as the result the cost of the burial or cremation, including transport costs, are higher than they would otherwise have been, the extra cost won’t be met.

Some assets belonging to the person who has died can be deducted from Funeral Support Payment. For example, any financial assets of the deceased that are available without confirmation having been granted, or without probate or letters of administration or certain insurance policy payments or funeral plan payments. 

How do I apply?

To apply for a Funeral Support Payment claim online, download a paper claim form from mygov.scot (there are different forms for funerals for adults and funerals for children under 18) or phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday). If you’re a British Sign Language user, you can use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

If you are unhappy with a decision about a funeral support payment or young carer grant, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a ‘redetermination’. You should ask for this within 31 days of the date of the decision you are unhappy with. This time limit can be extended up to one year from the date of the decision if you have a good reason for missing the 31-day limit.

At the moment, the one year time limit can be extended if your request is late due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Social Security Scotland has to deal with your request within 16 working days.