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Helping people pay for costs of a funeral

The cost of paying for a funeral can cause extra strain for many people at what is a difficult time.

Funeral Support Payment provides eligible people with financial support to help pay for a partner, child, parent or sibling's funeral.

The payment is available to people who receive Universal Credit, tax credits and certain benefits and are responsible for paying for a funeral.

It can be paid either to parents and families, or the funeral director who is helping to plan the funeral.

Applications can be made any time after someone has died until six months after the date of the funeral. People are being urged to check if they are eligible so they can get the help they are entitled to.

The average payment in the 2023/24 financial year to date was £1,949, and the money can be used towards burial or cremation costs and other expenses such as funeral director’s fees, a coffin or flowers.

Since launching Funeral Support Payment in September 2019, Social Security Scotland has received over 34,000 applications, providing £41.7 million of support for people and families.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“When families are struggling to deal with a bereavement, the last thing they need, particularly during this cost of living crisis, is to face the added worry of paying for the costs of a funeral. We also want to do all we can to prevent those who are dealing with grief getting into debt.

“Making sure that everyone gets the financial support they are entitled to is a basic step in putting dignity and respect at the heart of social security in Scotland.

“I would encourage anyone who thinks they might qualify for Funeral Support Payment to find out more and apply, and to remember that people can apply up to six months after the funeral of their family member, friend, or loved one.”

James Blackburn, Head of Funerals at Scotmid Funerals, said:

“We encourage the bereaved families that we care for to apply if they think they are eligible for Funeral Support Payment. We are delighted to work with Social Security Scotland to make sure that more people are aware of this support and that they apply for it. Through our funeral teams, website and our literature we signpost people to find out more and support them to apply.”

To help raise awareness and help eligible people to apply, we are encouraging our stakeholder organisations to share our resources on their channels, this now includes translated social media posts in a number of community languages.

Additional resources for stakeholders on Funeral Support Payment including factsheets, posters, flyers and social media graphics, are also available to download and share.

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible can find out more and apply online, over the phone or book an appointment to apply in-person, by visiting or they can call us free on 0800 182 2222.

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