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Funeral support payment

What is it?

A payment from the Scottish Social Security Agency (SSSA) to help towards the costs of paying for a funeral for which you are responsible.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a Funeral Support Payment you must live in Scotland and be responsible for the funeral.

Being responsible for the funeral means that you are named on the funeral bill and are the nearest relative to the person who has died.

The nearest relative is usually a partner, child, parent or sibling.

You must also be in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (disability or severe disability element)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), not new-style or contribution-based JSA
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), not new style or contribution-based ESA

Who pays it?

It is paid by the SSSA.

What you will get?

A Funeral support payment will not usually cover the full cost of a funeral but it can help pay towards the following:

  • burial or cremation costs
  • funeral costs
  • your travel costs
  • transport costs to move the person who died
  • document costs
  • medical costs

The amount you get will depend on how much money was left by the person who died.

How do I apply?

You can apply online by visiting the Scottish Government website.

If you are unable to make the claim online you can call the SSSA for free on 0800 182 2222 and make your application over the phone.

If the person who has died was aged 17 or under

The form is different if you are applying for a funeral support payment to help with the costs of the funeral of a child or young person aged 17 or below.

This is because the SSSA do not require as much information when you apply for the funeral of a baby, child or young person who was aged 17 or under.

Is there an age limit?

You must be 16 or over to make the claim but there is no upper age limit.

Is it National Insurance based?


Is it means-tested?

You must be on one of the benefits listed above.

How long does it last?

It is a one-off lump sum payment which must be claimed within six months of the date of the funeral.

Any effect on other benefits?


Is it taxable?


Is it payable in the European Union?

No. The person who has died must have lived in the UK.

Can I challenge the decision?

If you are unhappy with a decision made by the SSSA about a Funeral Support Payment you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a ‘re-determination’. You should ask for this within one month of the date of the decision you are unhappy with.

This time limit can be extended up to a maximum of one year from the date of the decision if you have a good reason for missing the one-month time limit.

At the moment, the one-year time limit can be extended if your request is late due to the coronavirus outbreak.

To ask for the decision to be looked at again you can:

  • call SSSA for free on 0800 182 2222 or
  • fill in the 'Ask us to look at our decision again' form which you should get along with your Best Start Grant decision letter

Social Security Scotland has to deal with your request within 16 working days. During the coronavirus outbreak this deadline has been extended by nine weeks.

If you are still unhappy with the decision after the 're-determination', or if Social Security Scotland has not made a decision on your request within the set timescale, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

The time limit for appealing is one month from the date of the decision but this can be extended up to one year if you have a good reason for not appealing sooner.

The appeal tribunal which will look at the decision again is independent of Social Security Scotland.

We can assist you through the appeals process, including representing you at the appeal hearing.

Page last updated:
21 Nov 2022

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