A new benefit providing help for people on low incomes to meet the costs of a funeral will be available from 16 September 2019.
Funeral Support Payment will be delivered by Social Security Scotland and will replace the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Funeral Expense Payment for people living in Scotland.
The changes mean around 40% more people will be eligible for financial support at the point of bereavement. People will be able to apply over the phone, by post or online for the first time. Once Social Security Scotland is fully operational, face-to-face pre-application support will be available across the country.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most tragic events any of us can face. At that difficult time, it’s even harder when there’s extra stress finding the money to pay for a funeral.
“Our new Funeral Support Payment has been designed and tested with members of the public and stakeholders including funeral directors and welfare advisors to ensure the end product is one we can be proud of.”
She added: “The new support will reach far more people struggling with funeral costs and is backed by around £2m additional funding. The flat rate element of the Funeral Support Payment will be £700 for the majority of applications, and we have committed to annually uprating in line with inflation – something the UK Government have not done since 2003.”