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Support at hand to help with burial costs

By Alan Beresford

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The Funeral Support Payment can help with the cost of burying a loved one.
The Funeral Support Payment can help with the cost of burying a loved one.

PEOPLE claiming certain types of benefits may be eligible for help with funeral costs for a loved one.

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.

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

The average payment in the 2023/24 financial year to date was £1949, 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.”

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