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Call to applicant checklist

After reviewing the application, decide whether the client needs a checklist call.

If all the information needed to make a decision has been provided in the application, you do not need to make a call. Instead, leave a note on SPM confirming the checklist call was not needed.

If the application is missing information, use this call checklist to ask the applicant the relevant questions.

Let the client know that we cannot make a decision on their application until we have this information.

Scottish local authorities should not charge funeral costs for children under 18. Stillbirth may be considered differently from a child funeral. You'll need to confirm with the funeral director or applicant (if a funeral director is not being used) if local authority costs apply.

If the applicant has provided a phone number, but has stated they would prefer to be contacted by letter, you should still try to call first. If you can't get through to them, send a letter.

Steps for making the applicant checklist call

  1. Begin the call by asking the security questions to confirm you are speaking to the applicant.
  2. Introduce yourself and explain you are calling from Social Security Scotland to discuss their application for Funeral Support Payment received on [date of receipt].
  3. Check the applicant is able to discuss their application at this time. If the applicant is not able to talk and requests a call back, you should organise another time to call. You can also explain what information they will need to confirm on the call.
  4. If the applicant is using a funeral director and has given consent to liaise with them directly, let them know that the purpose of this call is to get details that we cannot get from the funeral director. This includes information like identity details, which only the applicant has. The applicant should also make sure the funeral director knows that they have permission to speak to us and that we will call them.
  5. If the applicant has not used a funeral director, advise them of the costs evidence they’ll need to provide.
  6. If you have not been able to verify that the person who died was resident in the UK, you’ll need to ask the applicant to upload or post residency evidence.

Information to confirm on the call

  1. What’s your relationship to the person who died?
  2. Are you responsible for the funeral costs?
  3. If someone else is responsible, can you tell me who and why?
  4. Can you tell me why you’ve taken responsibility for the funeral costs?
  5. Where’s the funeral taking place?
  6. Was there a particular reason for this location? (Only ask this question if the funeral is in a different local authority to the address of the person who died.)
  7. Did the person who died have a funeral plan?
  8. If yes, is the funeral plan fully paid up or will it be honoured anyway?
  9. If the funeral plan is not fully paid up, will it pay out a cash value and is this available to help pay funeral costs?
  10. Have you received any financial support for this funeral from another government?
  11. Are you happy for us to contact the funeral director? (Let the client know they must upload/post in the funeral bill if they do not agree.)
  12. Has anything changed since you applied? For example, are there any funds that are available now to help pay funeral costs? This could include bank accounts or property from the estate.
  13. If the client has said in their application or on the call that there are funds, ask if the money is available and accessible straight away to help pay for the funeral.

If the applicant says there have been changes since they applied, please read the following declarations and ask if they agree: 

I confirm that the details I've given in this form are complete and correct. 

I accept that if I give details that are not complete or correct my payments may be stopped and action taken against me, such as being taken to court. 

I understand that any assistance I get can be recovered from the estate of the person who died.

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