Funeral expense assistance

Funeral expense assistance will replace the funeral payment in Scotland. If you need to pay for a funeral and have a low income, you could get this assistance towards the cost.

Timeline

June 2018               Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018

Sets out framework rules for funeral expense assistance.

Later in 2018          Consultation on regulations

By summer 2019    Funeral Expense Assistance open for applications

Eligibility

You'll be eligible for funeral expense assistance if it's reasonable for you to accept responsibility for the funeral, and you or your partner get any of the following benefits:

• Universal credit

• Income support

• Income-based jobseeker’s allowance

• Income-related employment and support allowance

• Pension credit

• Housing benefit

• Child tax credit

• Working tax credit with a disability or severe disability element

What you'll get

Funeral expense assistance will cover the burial or cremation costs, necessary documents, transport within limits and a payment of £700 for other expenses. The amount may be reduced if the person who died was aged 16 or over and had assets which are available and sufficient to meet the costs or made provision for their own funeral.

How you'll apply

It is intended to make it as easy as possible to apply for a funeral expense assistance payment, with support from funeral directors, local authorities and Social Security Scotland.

If you need help to pay for a funeral now, you could claim a funeral payment from the Department for Work and Pensions.

How you'll be paid

You'll be paid by Social Security Scotland. The funeral expense assistance may be paid directly to your account, or to the funeral director if you prefer. The Scottish Government has pledged to process applications within 10 working days.