Help with Funeral Payments

If you are responsible for the cost of a funeral, you may be entitled to benefits that can help you with the cost.

Funeral Support Payments

Help is available from Social Security Scotland for people who are responsible for the cost of paying for a funeral.

These payments do not cover the full costs of the funeral, but they can help with some of the expense. The average payment is approximately £1,500.

The costs they can help with are: 

  • Burial or cremation costs;
  • Funeral travel costs;
  • The cost of transporting the body of someone who has died;
  • Costs relating to the expense incurred in obtaining documents;
  • Medical costs.

The amount you are entitled to may be affected by the value of the estate of the deceased person.

This can include: 

  • Funds belonging to the person who has died;
  • Insurance policies;
  • Funeral plans;
  • Assets (such as homes, cars etc);
  • Money due from pensions or burial clubs.

Who can apply and when?

Only one person can get a Funeral Support Payment for a funeral. You may be entiteld if all of the following apply:

  • You live in Scotland;
  • You or your partner are getting certain benefits or tax credits;
  • The person who has died lived in the UK;
  • You or your partner are responsible for the funeral (to be responsible you must be named on the funeral bill or the nearest relation to the person who has died);
  • You are applying after the person has died and within 6 months of the funeral (special rules are in place to extend time limits due to the disruption that has been caused by coronavirus).

What benefits?

To qualify, you or your partner must be getting one of the following:

  • Child Tax Credit;
  • Universal Credit (UC);
  • Income Support;
  • Pension Credit;
  • Working Tax Credit (disability or severe disability element);
  • Housing Benefit;
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), but not contribution-based JSA;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), but not contribution-based ESA

How do you apply?

You apply by making an application to Social Security Scotland.

You can also download the application form and return it to: Social Security Scotland, Po Box 10311, Dundee, DD1 9GH. They can also be called on 0800 182 2222.

Inverclyde Council's duty to provide assistance

Inverclyde Council has a duty under Section 50 of the National Assistance Act 1948 to arrange for a burial or cremation where it appears no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made. For further information contact Inverclyde Council's Customer Service Department on 01475 717 171.

Page last updated: 22 April 2020