Eligible people urged to apply for help to cover cost of funerals

The average Funeral Support Payment in the 2023/24 financial year to date was £1,949.

Eligible people urged to apply for help to cover cost of funerals in Scotland PA Media

Bereaved people are being urged to apply for financial support to help pay for a loved one’s funeral if they are eligible.

The Funeral Support Payment is available to people living in Scotland who receive Universal Credit, tax credits and certain benefits and are responsible for paying for a funeral.

People can apply any time after the person has died until six months after the date of the funeral, and they are being urged to check if they are eligible so they can get the help they are entitled to.

Since launching the Funeral Support Payment in September 2019, Social Security Scotland said it has received more than 34,000 applications, providing £41.7m of support for people and families.

The average payment in the 2023/24 financial year to date was £1,949.

Social Justice Secretary 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.”

The money can be used towards burial or cremation costs and other expenses such as funeral directors’ fees, a coffin or flowers.

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

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.”

Funeral Support Payment can be used towards funeral costs for an adult, child or baby, including babies who were stillborn.

Those eligible for the Funeral Support Payment must be living in Scotland, be financially responsible for the funeral and be on a qualifying benefit or tax credit.

In Scotland, local authorities cover the burial or cremation costs for a baby, child or young person aged 17 or under.

The Funeral Support Payment be used to help with things such as travel, document and medical costs.

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