Scottish residents offered financial help with funerals costs

Bereaved Scottish residents could receive help towards the cost of a funeral to help ease the financial pressure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funeral Support Payment is available to residents on certain low-income benefits or tax credits and who are the nearest relation to the person who has died and help towards costs for burials, cremation, travel costs and other expenses such as funeral director fees, coffins or flowers.

Introduced in September last year, the Funeral Support Payment replaced the UK Government’s Funeral Expense Payment in Scotland.

The Scottish Government Funeral Support Payment also changed its eligibility so that around 40% more people can access this benefit.

Social Security Scotland secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “We know that during these unprecedented times, many people on low incomes will require financial support and I want to encourage people to access the benefits they are entitled to.

“I understand that coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult events any of us can face. It’s even harder when there’s extra stress trying to find the money to pay for a funeral.”

She added: “We worked with stakeholders who have supported bereaved clients in accessing funeral support so our service is as straightforward to access as possible. One way that we’ve made it easier is by creating clear pre-application advice and an interactive online application process.

“To ensure organisations managing funerals can cope with the increased demand during the current pandemic, the Scottish Government is also asking families not to delay organising funerals for their loved ones.”

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