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Scottish Funeral Support Payment

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus – more time to apply for the Funeral Support Payment

If you’ve missed the deadline for applying for the Funeral Support Payment because of Coronavirus, it won’t matter. You can make a late application.

Social Security Scotland will check your application against your circumstances on the last day that you would normally be eligible. This will be the day before the end of 6 months after the funeral.

What is the Scottish Funeral Support Payment

Funeral Support Payment is a benefit for people living in Scotland, provided by Social Security Scotland.

If you, or your partner, are paying for a funeral, you could get this one-off payment to help with some of the cost. 

One of you must be getting a low-income benefit to qualify, as well as meeting other eligibility criteria. 

The funeral can take place anywhere in the UK (or sometimes in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) and you can apply after the death and up to six months after the funeral. You can make a late application if you missed the six month deadline because of coronavirus.

The payment can be for the funeral of an adult, child or still-born child. You can't get a payment if:

  • there won't be a burial or cremation - for example, you're only having a memorial service or if they donated their body to science
  • the hospital is paying for the burial or cremation - for example, after a miscarriage or still-birth

If you've already arranged the funeral, check if the person who died had any money to help pay for the funeral and then check if you're eligible for the Funeral Support Payment

If you haven't arranged the funeral yet

You can apply for the payment before the funeral takes place or up to six months after. 

You can make a late application if you missed the six month deadline because of coronavirus.

Before you apply for the Funeral Support Payment you'll need to:

  • register the death 
  • check if they had a funeral plan - and other money to help pay for the funeral
  • arrange the funeral

Social Security Scotland needs to know if there's any money to help pay for the funeral and what the actual funeral costs will be. 

If you think they had a funeral plan or were in a burial club, contact the provider as soon as possible. You should check if it was paid in full and what funeral costs it will cover. Depending on the plan, you may have extra costs to pay.

Think carefully about who in your family should pay for any funeral costs before you sign a contract with a funeral director or crematorium. To get the Funeral Support Payment, the person who pays needs to be getting a low income benefit and be eligible in other ways. Social Security Scotland will also check if there's a closer relative who could have paid. Check if you can get the payment

Whether you're organising the whole funeral or paying extra on top of a funeral plan, check it's affordable. The amount of Funeral Support Payment you get will depend on your circumstances, but the average payment is expected to be £1,500. The average funeral costs over £3,500.

Arranging an affordable funeral

The Funeral Support Payment will only cover the reasonable cost of a cremation or burial, some transport and a capped amount towards other costs.  Think carefully about what you can afford. 

You might need to pay extra for other funeral costs that aren't covered by the payment, if you choose to have them. This includes: 

  • a service 
  • fees for a celebrant, Minister or Imam
  • a coffin
  • a headstone
  • burial of the ashes 
  • other elements particular to your religion or beliefs

Find affordable funeral options:

  • online - search for 'simple funeral', 'fixed price' or 'direct cremation'
  • through a local funeral director - check the Fair Funerals map for funeral directors who have pledged to have affordable options

Tell the funeral director that you plan to apply for the Funeral Support Payment.

You don’t have to use a funeral director to get the payment. You could organise a direct cremation, for example. 

Read more about what the payment will cover.

Check other ways of meeting the funeral costs

Check your options for meeting costs over the Funeral Support Payment. 

Negotiating payment options

It can take a couple of weeks for your Funeral Support Payment claim to be decided. You might have to pay a deposit or the whole funeral bill up front, before you get the payment. 

Before you sign a contract, ask the funeral director if they'll allow the Funeral Support Payment to be paid directly to them later, so your up-front costs are lower.

You could also ask for:

  • an interest-free payment plan or
  • time to settle the estate - funeral directors know it can take a while to free up money

Arrangements for miscarriage and stillbirth

The hospital or clinic will help you to understand your funeral options. Advice and support is also available from the organisations listed on mygov.scot

Miscarriage before 24 weeks

Social Security Scotland can't help with funeral costs if a baby dies in the womb before the end of the 24th week of pregnancy. 

You may still choose to arrange a burial or cremation, or ask the hospital to arrange it. Hospitals and funeral directors often provide this for free or a reduced cost. The hospital or clinic will help you to understand your options. 

Stillbirth 

Stillbirth is where a baby dies in the womb after 24 weeks. If you have funeral costs, you may be able to get a Funeral Support Payment to help. Apply to Social Security Scotland if you meet the eligibility criteria. 

You can't get the Funeral Support Payment if the hospital is arranging and paying for the burial or cremation, or has already done this.

Use this page to check if you're eligible for a Funeral Support Payment.  Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can support you to apply. 

Infant or neonatal death

Neonatal death is where a baby is born alive, before or after 24 weeks of pregnancy, but later dies. There will be birth and death certificates. 

If you have funeral costs, you may be able to get a Funeral Support Payment to help. Apply to Social Security Scotland if you meet the eligibility criteria. 

You can't get the Funeral Support Payment if the hospital is arranging and paying for the burial or cremation, or has already done this.

Use this page to check if you're eligible for a Funeral Support Payment.  Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can support you to apply. 

Check how your funeral support payment might be affected by a funeral plan, insurance and other assets of an adult who died.

Check if they had a funeral plan, savings or other money

You don't need to have settled their estate before you apply. But if they were over 18, you'll need to tell Social Security Scotland if the person who died had any money to help pay for the funeral.

Your Funeral Support Payment will be reduced by the total amount of money available. 

Check for:

  • money in a current account (not joint accounts)
  • a funeral plan
  • an insurance policy - like an over-50s plan, Term Life Insurance or Whole-of-Life Assurance
  • a burial club membership 
  • a work pension

Money in their estate, that you have to go through a legal process to get, won't be deducted from your payment. It will be recovered from their estate later. 

If you're entitled to a Funeral Support Payment of £1,400, but the person who died had £400 in their account, your payment will be reduced to £1,000.

If they had more money than your Funeral Support Payment, your benefit will be reduced to £0. This is called a 'null award'.

Check what the insurance, funeral plan or burial club pays for 

You'll need to check that the insurance, funeral plan or burial club membership is valid, and what it covers. If it already covers everything that the Funeral Support Payment covers, you won't get a payment.

If it doesn't cover some elements, like a burial plot or cremation costs, you can claim for that.

If there's a funeral plan, you'll also get a flat rate award of £122.05 for other costs. This award increased from £120 to £122.05 on 1 April 2020. The funeral director can help you clarify what's covered by the funeral plan. 

If there's an insurance policy, a pension scheme or a burial club membership, the value of the scheme along with any other assets of the person who died, will be taken away from the higher flat rate of award of £1,000. This award increased from £700 to £1,000 on 1 April 2020.

Who can get the Funeral Support Payment

You can apply for the Funeral Support Payment if you’re living in Scotland. The person who died may have lived anywhere in the UK.

To be eligible for the payment, you or your partner must be:

  • paying for a funeral - either yours or your partner’s name is on the bill

Your partner is your spouse, civil partner or someone you're living with as a couple.

If you live outside Scotland

You need to be 'ordinarily resident' in Scotland to apply for the Funeral Support Payment. This means you must be living in Scotland with a 'settled purpose'. Most people who live in Scotland and work, study or claim benefits will be ordinarily resident. 

When you apply you'll be asked to give an address for where you live in Scotland. It must be where you actually live and have your qualifying benefit registered to, not the address of a friend or relative. 

You should apply for a different funeral benefit if you live in:

  • England or Wales - find out more on GOV.UK

Although you have to live in Scotland to get the Funeral Support Payment, the person who died may have lived anywhere in the UK.

If you're from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland but live in Scotland

If you're from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you can apply for a payment for a funeral in the UK, or sometimes in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. 

You'll be eligible if:

  • the person who died was 'ordinarily resident' in the UK 
  • you’re 'ordinarily resident' in Scotland at the time you apply 
  • you meet the other eligibility criteria, like getting a benefit

For a funeral in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland you must meet the criteria above and:

  • be a worker or self-employed, or have retained that status, or
  • be a family member of a worker, self-employed person or someone who's retained worker status, or
  • have a permanent right to reside in the UK

'Ordinarily resident' means living in Scotland with a 'settled purpose'. It applies to most people who live in Scotland and work or claim benefits. 

Costs for funerals outside the UK

The costs of having a funeral abroad may be higher than a funeral in the UK. The maximum payment you could get is capped at what your costs would be for a funeral in the UK, in the area where the person who died was living. Check the reasonable costs Social Security Scotland will pay for each area in Scotland. 

You’ll need to cover the extra costs of a funeral outside the UK, like transporting the body. 

Example

Ben is a French citizen who works in a cafe in Glasgow. He gets Child Tax Credit. His wife, Katherine, was also living and working in Scotland and recently died. Ben is paying for a funeral in France and applies for the Funeral Support Payment. He may be eligible for the payment. 

Brexit update

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. However, people from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland will continue to have the same rights to claim benefits as they did before, at least until 31 December 2020.

If you're from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and are living in the UK, you can apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Your access to benefits might change if you don’t have settled status by 31 December 2020. We'll update our advice as the situation becomes clearer.

If you're not sure if you're eligible for a payment, contact Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or your local Citizens Advice Bureau

If you're subject to immigration control

You can't get Funeral Support Payment if you're 'subject to immigration control'. Applying could affect whether you're allowed to stay in the UK. 

You're subject to immigration control if you're not a national of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and you're in any of these situations:

  • you don’t have leave to enter or remain in the UK (permission to stay) - for example, you entered illegally
  • 'no public funds' is one of the conditions of your stay (what you can and can’t do in the UK) 
  • a family member or friend made an agreement called a 'maintenance undertaking', which means they said they’d give you somewhere to live and support you financially during your stay in the UK

If you need financial support but you think you're subject to immigration control, get advice about your options.

Before you apply you'll need to check if you're getting one of the eligible benefits. 

Which low-income benefits should you be getting

You, or your partner, must be getting one of these benefits at the time you apply for a Funeral Support Payment:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (not contribution-based)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) (not contribution-based)
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit which includes a disability element or a severe disability element

If you're paying for a funeral, you could get a payment if your partner is getting one of the qualifying benefits, even if you're not. Your partner is your spouse, civil partner or someone you're living with as a couple.

Funeral Support Payment won’t affect your other benefits.

If you're not currently getting one of these benefits

You could apply for a Funeral Support Payment if you or your partner start getting a benefit up to six months after the funeral. 

If you've applied for a benefit at the same time as applying for the Funeral Support Payment, tell Social Security Scotland. They'll wait to see whether you get the benefit before deciding your Funeral Support Payment application.

If you miss the six month time limit waiting for a benefit decision you can get more time to apply in some cases. Find out more about missing the deadline.

Get a benefit check

Get a benefit check if you or your partner's circumstances change up to six months after the funeral. For example, if you lose your job or your disability gets worse.

Call Citizens Advice Scotland's Money Talk team on 0800 085 7145 or go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

You will also need to check if you're the closest living relative.

Check if you're the closest living relative

You'll get the payment if Social Security Scotland decides it was reasonable for you, or your partner, to be paying or have paid for the funeral. 

They're likely to think it was reasonable for you to pay if you, or your partner, are the closest living relative. This means how close you are in the family tree.

When you apply, Social Security Scotland will check if there was a closer relative to the person who died who could have paid for the funeral. They use a list. 

You're the closest relative if there's no one else higher on the list. 

For an adult, the closest relative is:

  • a husband, wife or civil partner (unless you were divorced or permanently separated), or
  • a cohabiting partner - if you were living together as a couple for at least six months before they died or went into hospital

For a child, the closest relative is a parent.

Check where you are in the list of closest relatives

There may be more than one person who was equally close to the person who died, like brothers and sisters.

If your partner is the closest relative, you can still get the payment. Make sure you tell Social Security Scotland when you apply.

If neither you or your partner are the closest relative but you paid for the funeral, you can explain why on your application. 

If you paid for the funeral but you’re not the closest relative

If neither you or your partner are the closest living relative but you've taken responsibility for the funeral costs, you'll need to tell Social Security Scotland why you paid instead. They’ll decide if it was reasonable for you to do that based on the information you give them. 

You might have a good reason for paying if the closest relative wasn’t able to take responsibility for the funeral because they're:

  • 16 or 17 years old  - although they can choose to take on the costs if they want to
  • mentally or physically ill, hospitalised or in a care home and not able to make decisions
  • estranged or separated from the person who died

Write your reasons for paying for the funeral in the text box at the end of the application form, if you're applying online or by post. Try to be as specific as possible. You might be asked for more details or evidence to support what you say.

If there are two or more equally close relatives, like siblings

There might be two or more people in your family who are equally close relatives to the person who has died. For example, brothers and sisters who could organise a parent’s funeral, because they didn't have a partner.

Only one person can get a Funeral Support Payment. Their name must be on the funeral bill and they must be getting a benefit

If equally close relatives all live in Scotland and get a benefit

If you haven't arranged the funeral yet, you'll need to decide between you who will take responsibility for the costs. The person named on the bill is usually the only person who can get the Funeral Support Payment. 

Remember that if your name is on the bill you'll be responsible for making sure the whole funeral is paid. You can get contributions from other people, including other family, friends or charities. 

If an equally close relative isn’t getting a benefit

If you're living in Scotland, getting a low income benefit, you should apply for a Funeral Support Payment if you're happy to pay for the funeral or already have.

If there’s another equally close relative living in the UK, but they’re not getting a benefit, this won’t stop you from getting the Scottish Funeral Support Payment.

If you're all on benefits but live in different parts of the UK

For example, if you live in Scotland but your siblings live in England and Northern Ireland, and you all get Universal Credit.

You must decide who is going to take responsibility for the funeral costs. 

Either:

  • the person living in Scotland applies for the Scottish Funeral Support Payment, or
  • the person living in England (or Wales) applies for the DWP Funeral Expenses Payment, or
  • the person living in Northern Ireland applies for the Northern Irish Funeral Payment

You can only get one of these payments.

The funeral can take place anywhere in the UK with any of the payments.

There’s more information about the DWP Funeral Payment for people living in England and Wales on GOV.UK and more about the Northern Irish Funeral Payment on nidirect.gov.uk.

If you're not a relative but you paid for the funeral

If you're not a relative of the person who died but you paid for the funeral, you could still get the payment if you're a long-standing friend. 

Long-standing hasn't been defined by the law. You should tell Social Security Scotland how long you were friends and why it was reasonable for you to take on the funeral costs. Tell Social Security Scotland if you think there are no living relatives or they couldn't be found.

Social Security Scotland will decide if it was reasonable for you to have paid for the funeral, on a case-by-case basis. They'll check if there was a closer relative that could have paid. 

Explain your situation at the end of the application form or apply by phone so that you can speak to a case worker. Keep a note of who you spoke to and when. 

You might not get the payment if Social Security Scotland decides it wasn't reasonable. If you don't get the payment, you can ask for your application to be looked at again

If you were living together for less than six months or lived apart

If you weren’t married or in a civil partnership with your partner when they died, you are legally the closest relative if you were living together as a couple for at least six months before they died or were hospitalised. 

If you weren't living together for that long, you can still apply for the payment. You'll need to explain why you think it was reasonable for you to take responsibility for the funeral costs.

It can help Social Security Scotland decide if it was reasonable for you to pay for the funeral if you include details about:

  • how long you were a couple 
  • why you didn't live together 
  • why you took on the costs rather than other family members 
  • any evidence of your relationship - for example, joint claims for benefits or joint finances

Explain this in the text box at the end of the application form. 

Social Security Scotland will look at your application and decide whether it was reasonable for you to pay for the funeral. If you don't get the payment, you can ask for your application to be looked at again

Speak to an adviser at your local Citizens Advice Bureau if you’re not sure if you're eligible for the payment.

How to apply for a Funeral Support Payment 

You can apply: 

  • online - at mygov.scot
  • by phone - call 0800 182 2222 freephone
  • by post - download a form from mygov.scot. There are separate forms if you're applying for the funeral of an adult or a child

If you're close to the six-month time limit, applying online or by phone is best. 

When to apply

You can apply after the person has died and up to six months after the funeral. If you're not eligible for the payment when the funeral happens, you should apply if you become eligible any time up to the time limit. For example, you start getting a benefit during that time. 

You can apply later if you’ve been affected by coronavirus.

You might get some extra time to apply if you're waiting for a benefit decision. Find out more if you think you'll miss the deadline for this reason

Preparing to apply

Speak to the funeral director

Speak to the funeral director about ways to speed up your payment, like:

  • allowing them to speak to Social Security Scotland 
  • having the benefit paid directly to them - you don't need to do this if you’ve already settled the bill and need to be reimbursed, or you'd rather get the payment and transfer it to them

Gather documents to help you apply

To complete the application, try to gather:

  • National Insurance numbers - yours and the person who has died
  • funeral director's name and address
  • funeral bills 
  • receipts for transport and travel
  • receipts for medical documents you needed for the funeral
  • details of any funeral grant you got from Veterans UK, if this applies
  • details of any burial plot or lair your family owns in the UK
  • details of any money the person who died had - this only applies if they were 18 or over
  • the name and address of the executor - this is the person sorting out the assets of the person who died. It might be you, another family member or a solicitor

Try to find any statements or documents for:

  • bank accounts
  • funeral plans
  • burial club memberships 
  • insurance or pensions

Keep receipts for the cost of any documents you had to pay for to get hold of money in a funeral plan, insurance policy, pension or bank account - you can claim for the cost. 

You don't need to have sorted out the estate before you apply. 

If you want to apply on behalf of someone else

You can apply on behalf of someone if you're their legal guardian, benefits appointee or have power of attorney. You can also apply for the legal right to deal with another person's benefits if they can't manage their own affairs. This is known as becoming an 'appointee'.

You'll need to apply for the Funeral Support Payment by phone or post.

Follow our tips for applying. If you think you’ll struggle to apply, you can get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Tips for applying

When you apply online you'll complete some questions about your eligibility first. If it says you're not eligible you can continue, but it might be best to get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau first. 

If you’re applying online or by post, use the box at the end of the form to explain:

  • why it's reasonable for you to get the payment, if you're not the closest relative
  • what's covered by the funeral plan, if there is one
  • any other facts that you think will be important for your application

You might find it easier to apply by phone, but write down notes of what you want to say before you call and keep a note of who you spoke to and when. 

It's important to be accurate about how much money they had. If it will take time to find out the exact details or find these documents, you can still apply and say you 'don't know'. You might be asked to send documents to prove what you say. 

If you're applying by post, you can send evidence with your application form. Request a pre-paid envelope if you need one. 

Make sure you give a phone number because they'll call to discuss your application. You can request a call in British Sign Language or a range of other languages.

Keep any confirmation emails or texts you get after you submit your application. It's proof of when you applied.

What happens after you apply

After you apply Social Security Scotland will call you. You might be asked to send evidence to support your application. 

Getting a call

After you've applied, Social Security Scotland might call to talk about your application. 

What you say will be used to decide whether you should get the payment. The call will be recorded. If there's anything you're not sure about, it's best to say you don't know. You can also say if you need more time to think. 

You might be asked:

  • why it's reasonable for you to get the payment, if you're not the closest relative
  • how you travelled to the funeral and if there was a cheaper option
  • what's covered by the funeral plan, if there is one
  • if the person who died had an estate and who the executor is - Social Security Scotland will recover the payment from the estate later on, if there’s money available

Tell the case worker any other facts that you think will be important for your application.

Sending evidence

Social Security Scotland might need more information to decide your application.

You can send in evidence by post or electronically. If you've applied by post, You might be sent a pre-paid envelope and a list of documents to send. If you don't, phone Social Security Scotland to check what you need to send. Only send copies, not originals. 

Send evidence as soon as possible so you don't delay your application. Contact them if you don't think you can get the evidence they need or it's going to take you a while. 

If you're sending evidence by post, mark all the documents with your name, date of birth, National Insurance number and any application reference numbers you've been sent. Write "Funeral Support Payment application" on them too.  

Get free 'proof of postage' from the Post Office window so you can prove you sent them.

Getting a decision letter

After they've got all the evidence they need, Social Security Scotland aims to decide your application within 10 working days. 

They'll write to tell you if you've been awarded the Funeral Support Payment.

If you don't agree with the amount, or your application is refused, check:

If something's not right, you can ask for your application to be looked at again

How much the payment will be

Social Security Scotland will add up the reasonable costs you would be entitled to and then deduct money the person who died had, that you can access.

It's expected that the average payment will be £1,500 but it will depend on your circumstances.  

It's unlikely to cover the whole cost of the average funeral, unless you choose a low-cost option like a direct cremation. 

If it doesn't cover the whole cost, check your options for covering the rest of the funeral.

What the payment should cover 

The cost of a cremation or burial varies across the UK. Social Security Scotland has published the reasonable costs it will pay for each local authority area in Scotland. 

The maximum payment you can get will be capped at what your costs would be for a funeral taking place where the person was living before they died. If you have a funeral somewhere else, and your actual costs are higher, you'll need to cover them yourself. 

This cap also applies if you’re an EU citizen living in Scotland and thinking about arranging a funeral in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. The payment won’t cover any extra costs you might have, like transporting the body to another country.  

The payment should include:

  • the published fees for the burial or cremation - these are the reasonable costs for a burial plot, grave-digging, and fees, or the cost of cremation and fees. 
  • the cost of doctor's references or certificates for the funeral - these aren't usually needed in Scotland
  • removing medical devices like pacemakers, for cremation – capped at £20.35. This increased from £20 to £20.35 on 1 April 2020
  • the cost of any documents to access money in a funeral plan, bank account etc
  • some travel and transport costs 
  • a standard flat fee for other costs - £1,000 or £122.05 if there was a funeral plan. The standard fees increased on 1 April 2020 from £700 to £1,000 and from £120 to £122.05 if there was a funeral plan

You can’t claim for:

  • costs covered by a funeral plan - you'll need to check what the plan covers
  • the cost of burying cremated ashes
  • the cost of a burial plot, if you've chosen to use a burial plot or lair you already own
  • a memorial service or remembrance - where a burial or cremation isn't taking place

Most local authorities in Scotland don't charge for the burial or cremation of people 17 years old or younger. The payment won't cover any costs you didn't have to pay. 

Social Security Scotland might check the costs with you or the funeral director to confirm how much you paid and that it wasn't already covered by a funeral plan. 

You might be asked to provide evidence, like travel receipts.

Deductions from your Funeral Support Payment

The amount of Funeral Support Payment you get will be reduced if the person who died was 18 or over and there's money you can access to help pay for the funeral, like:

  • money in an insurance policy, burial club or pension 
  • cash in their bank account (not joint accounts)
  • a grant from Veterans UK.

The amount of payment you get won't be affected by money from:

  • benefit arrears due to the person who died - for example, money they were awarded on appeal 
  • contributions from relatives, friends, charities or crowdfunding towards the funeral bill 
  • a DWP Bereavement Support Payment you get - check if you're eligible on GOV.UK
  • their will or estate, that you have to go through a legal process to get - called probate in England and Wales or Confirmation in Scotland. Social Security Scotland may recover the money later though

If money from the estate becomes available after you get a payment

Social Security Scotland might try to get back money that becomes available from the estate of the person who died, after a Funeral Support Payment is made. It will be counted as a priority debt that must be paid before money is handed out to the family.

If the payment is recovered, any money you were due to inherit might be reduced. 

If you’ve missed the deadline to apply

You can apply for a payment up to six months after the funeral. Your application needs to have been received by Social Security Scotland within that window. Although you can apply later if you’ve been affected by coronavirus.

If you’ve missed the deadline waiting for a benefit award decision 

You might be able to get a Funeral Support Payment if you missed the deadline while waiting for a decision about your claim for a qualifying benefit. You get an extra 20 working days to apply.

To get the payment you must:

  • be awarded the benefit for at least one day that falls within six months after the funeral - this is called 'backdating'
  • apply for the Funeral Support Payment within 20 working days after the six- month time limit ends, and within three months of being told your qualifying benefit was backdated

If you're close to the six month and 20 working day time limit, applying online or by phone is the quickest. You can send evidence later.

Get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau if you're not sure whether you can still apply. 

If your application is refused

If your application is refused or you've been awarded less then you think you should have, you can ask for your application to be looked at again – this is called a re-determination.

You can ask for this up to 31 days later, starting with the day you’re told the result of your application.

If you miss this deadline for a good reason, for example you were very ill or hospitalised after the funeral, Social Security Scotland might still allow you to request a re-determination.

You should get an answer within 12 weeks and one working day.

Find out how to ask for a re-determination

Meeting the rest of the cost of the funeral

Some people who get a funeral payment struggle to cover the rest of the cost. You should try to avoid taking on high-interest debt like loans or credit cards because these can cost more in the long-run. 

Check if the person who died had a funeral or burial plan, occupational pension or life insurance. This may cover the rest of the funeral but it could also reduce the amount of Funeral Support Payment you get.

You could get contributions without affecting your payment, like:

Some contributions might need to be paid back, like a budgeting advance for Universal Credit or a budgeting loan. You should explore options that don't need to be paid back before you take on debt. 

If you don’t pay the bill on time, the funeral director could take action for payment of the debt. If this happens, speak to an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible.  

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