Guide

Funeral Support Payment
Last updated: 25 October 2019

If the person who died was 18 or over

Funeral Support Payment will not usually cover the full cost of a funeral. The average total payment is £1,300, but the amount you get will depend on a number of factors.

It can help pay towards:

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

Costs you'll be able to get help with

The payment will usually cover the cost of burial or cremation in the local area where the person who died lived.

Social Security Scotland can only work out exactly how much you'll get when they know where the person lived. This is because different locations have different burial and cremation costs.

You can get a payment of £700 to put towards any other funeral costs you need to pay for, such as the funeral service or funeral car.

If the person who died had a funeral plan or funeral insurance, the amount you'll get for funeral costs will be reduced to £120. This is because their funeral plan or funeral insurance should help pay for the funeral costs.

You can get help towards travel costs for one return journey to either the:

  • place where you're arranging the funeral
  • funeral location

This includes travel by bus, train and your own car. You can sometimes get help towards travel by taxi, boat and plane. It does not include travel in a funeral car.

Other costs you might be able to get help with

If you need to move the person who died more than 50 miles, you can get help towards the cost of this.

You'll have to pay for the first 50 miles of any journey. Social Security Scotland can only help pay for the travel over 50 miles. Make sure the funeral director puts the full travel distance onto your bill. This includes the distance of any return journeys.

Social Security Scotland can work out how much money you'll get to help towards transport costs to move the person who died. They'll do this by speaking to your funeral director, if you have one, or using your final funeral bill.

Social Security Scotland can pay towards the cost of:

  • death certificates to release money belonging to the person who died
  • medical certificates needed to bury or cremate someone. For example, a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

You can get help with the cost of certain medical procedures needed before the funeral can go ahead. For example, if a pacemaker needs to be removed before the person who died can be cremated.

What affects how much you can get

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

Your payment will be less if the person who died left any money which could cover some, or all, of the funeral expenses.

This includes:

  • funds belonging to the person who died
  • insurance policies
  • funeral plans
  • money due from pensions or burial clubs

Recovering payments

You'll need to use money from the person's estate to pay funeral expenses and debts before anything else.

A person's estate (sometimes known as 'assets') includes things like money, savings or property.

Social Security Scotland can recover your Funeral Support Payment if money becomes available from the person's estate. They'll take back either some or all of the payment.

Examples of how much you could get

Example A

The person who died was over 18 and lived in the Glasgow City Council area. They had £250 in personal savings, but no funeral plan or insurance.

The person who's responsible for the funeral lives in Aberdeenshire and needed to travel from Aberdeenshire to Glasgow for the funeral. They would be able to get a total payment of £1,198.

Payment Amount
Cremation costs

This is the fee charged by the local council for cremation in Glasgow City.
£670
Funeral costs

This is a fixed amount of £700 as the person who died did not have a funeral plan or funeral insurance.
£700
Travel costs

The person responsible for the funeral lived in Aberdeenshire and needed to travel from Aberdeenshire to Glasgow for the funeral.
£58
Transport costs

There were no costs to move the person who died over 50 miles to the funeral location.
£0
Document costs

The person responsible for the funeral did not need to pay for any documents like a copy of the death certificate.
£0
Other costs

This is the amount paid for removing a pacemaker.
£20
Deductions

The person who died had £250 in private bank accounts, which is deducted.
-£250
Total £1,198

Example B

The person who died was over 18 and lived and died in Falkirk. They did not have any savings but did have a funeral plan. The person who's responsible for the funeral would be able to get a total payment of £1,399.

Payment Amount
Burial costs

This is the fee charged by the local council for burial in Falkirk.
£1,279
Funeral costs

This is a fixed amount of £120 as the person who died had a funeral plan.
£120
Travel costs

The person responsible for the funeral did not have any travel costs to plan or attend the funeral.
£0
Transport costs

There were no costs to move the person who died over 50 miles to the funeral location.
£0
Document costs

The person responsible for the funeral did not need to pay for any documents like a copy of the death certificate.
£0
Other costs

There were no costs for any medical procedures.
£0
Deductions

No money would be deducted as the person who died did not have any immediately accessible money to help pay for the funeral.
-£0
Total £1,399