When there are no family members entitled to the death subsidy, reimbursement of funeral expenses is attributed to whoever can prove that they paid them.
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O reimbursement of funeral expenses is a benefit intended to compensate those who have borne the costs of funeral services for a beneficiary of Social Security.
When the deceased beneficiary has no relative in a position to apply for the death benefit, the funeral expenses can then be reimbursed to whoever can prove that they paid them.
Although after the death of someone dear to us, the last thing we want to think about is money, unfortunately, this is a reality that we always have to face. Find out about the granting criteria for this support and find out what to do to apply for it.
Who can claim reimbursement of funeral expenses?
Anyone can apply for this support, as long as they prove that they paid the funeral costs of the Social Security beneficiary. To do so, you will need to present the original invoice and receipt, which should include your name and that of the person who died.
However, reimbursement is only granted if the deceased has had at least one month of social security contributions and since there are no family members entitled to receive the death subsidy. Furthermore, these two installments cannot be combined.
If the deceased has never contributed to Social Security or another mandatory social protection scheme, the person who paid for the funeral can use the funeral subsidy as an alternative.
How much do you receive?
Reimbursement of funeral expenses is paid in one lump sum. The amount to be received is the expenses indicated on the receipt, up to the maximum limit of 1,441.29 euroswhich is equivalent to three times the Social Support Index (IAS) in 2023.
If the deceased beneficiary was covered by the special Social Security scheme for agricultural activities (RESSAA), the reimbursement amount cannot exceed 720.65 euros, that is, 1.5 times the IAS.
Furthermore, if pensions have been paid after death, these amounts will be deducted from the reimbursement amount. In that case, the amount you will receive may be less.
How and where to apply for reimbursement of funeral expenses?
To request reimbursement of funeral expenses, the appropriate application must be submitted within 90 days of the date of death. You can do this through Direct Social Security, at the Social Security services and at Loja do Cidadão or at the Centro Nacional de Pensões.
In many cases, funeral homes not only provide this information but also help throughout the process. These companies can even register requests for Reimbursement of Funeral Expenses on behalf of citizens or other entities. So, if you have difficulty making the request, you can ask the agency that performed the funeral service for help.
To apply for the benefit, it is necessary to submit the form “Mod. RP 5076-DGSS – Request for Reimbursement of Funeral Expenses” duly completed. However, if the application is made through Direct Social Security, you are exempt from completing and delivering this form.
Depending on the reason for the death and situation of the deceased, additional forms may also be requested, namely:
- Mod RP 5078-DGSS – Declaration, Act of liability of a third party, in case the death resulted from an accident;
- Mod RV1017-DGSS – for national citizens, if they do not have a Social Security Identification Number (NISS);
- Mod RV1017-DGSS together with the Mod RV1006-DGSS – for foreign citizens, if they do not have a Portuguese Social Security Identification Number.
In addition to these forms, you will also need to submit some documents in order to receive the refund. Are they:
- Document proving the NIB with the name of the applicant as the account holder, if you want the payment to be made by bank transfer, otherwise the payment will be made by postal order;
- Valid identification document, which can either be the Citizen Card or Identity Card, Civil Registry Certificate, Birth Certificate, Passport or Residence Permit;
- Copy of the applicant’s NIF;
- Original or certified copy of the narrative Birth Certificate with the death record or the death certificate and identification document of the deceased;
- Original receipt and itemized invoice with the name of the deceased and the person who paid the funeral expenses.
Social Security does not inform, on its website or in the Practical Guide to the benefit, about payment deadlines. However, if reimbursement of funeral expenses is requested through Direct Social Security, information on the status of the process will be made available immediately. As for the other situations, it depends on the analysis of each request.
On the Social Security website, it is read that “it is the duty of the citizen not to make false statements or omissions that lead to the undue granting of the benefit”, procedures that are subject to the imposition of fines that can vary between 100 euros and 2,494 euros.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in February 2023.