Financial help for funerals

20 April 2020

lady sitting on bench

If you have recently arranged a funeral and are now in receipt of a low-income benefit due to COVID-19, you could be entitled to money to help with the costs of a funeral.

At a time where people may be accessing benefits for the first time, we are urging people to check if they are entitled and to apply if they’re eligible.

Planning a funeral can be difficult but doing so in a pandemic can make this even harder. Funeral Support Payment can help ease this slightly with a contribution towards the costs of the funeral and helping to avoid debt.

The support available in Scotland differs from the rest of the UK. The eligibility is wider, has been designed to be easier to access, and is processed within 10 working days of receiving a completed application with supporting evidence.

The Scottish Government has taken a more transparent approach to who can apply for the payment. Our eligibility sets out that you are entitled to this support if you had the nearest relationship to the person who has died, were responsible for paying for the funeral and meet the other criteria, including being in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits.

Potential clients can find out if they’re entitled from our pre-application advice, and apply online, more information is available at mygov.scot.

Clients can also choose to apply via a paper application form or by requesting a call back from one of our specially trained advisors working within our dedicated Funeral Support Payment team by calling 0800 182 2222.

The Scottish Government is advising people not to put off arranging funerals during the current pandemic and has issued guidance that in-person attendance of funeral services should be kept to the minimum number of people possible.

Funeral Support Payment comes as one cash lump sum, as a contribution towards the costs. This means if someone finds themselves organising a funeral during the pandemic and they are eligible for the benefit, they can choose to use the payment to pay for a burial and cremation now, and if there is any money left, keep it aside for a later date.

This could be used to help pay for a memorial, celebration of life, or support any other funeral costs when social distancing measures have stopped.

The payment is a contribution and does not cover the full costs of a funeral, so people who want to do this would need to plan accordingly.

For more information and to apply, visit mygov.scot/funeral-support-payment

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