Extra help to pay for funerals.
Extra support will be made available for people on low income benefits to pay for the cost of a funeral.
The Funeral Support Payment’s rate for expenses such as funeral director fees, a coffin, and flowers, is to be increased from £700 to £1,000 for all applications received from 1 April.
The Funeral Support Payment is made up of three separate parts: burial or cremation costs; travel costs; and a standard rate for other expenses – and it is this element which is being increased.
Introduced in September last year, the Funeral Support Payment replaced the UK Government’s Funeral Expense Payment in Scotland, greatly increasing eligibility. It is intended to help alleviate the burden of debt faced by those on low income benefits when paying for a funeral.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“At a time when families are struggling to come to terms with the death of a loved one, the last thing they need is extra financial stress.
“I am proud we are increasing the standard rate by 40% to £1,000 to support those paying for a funeral just months after introducing this important new payment.
“This increase, alongside the extended eligibility we have introduced, means the Funeral Support Payment is there to ease the pressures on up to 5,000 people annually at such a difficult time in their lives. So far the total average pay-out has been around £1,500.
“This benefit is part of the new Social Security system we are building from scratch for the Scottish people, with fairness, dignity and respect at its heart.”
The flat rate payment for other expenses may be used towards any other funeral expenses such as funeral director fees, a coffin, and flowers.
Those eligible for the Funeral Support Payment must be living in Scotland, have had the nearest relationship to the person who has died, be financially responsible for the funeral and be on a qualifying benefit or tax credit (e.g. Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit).
Around 5,000 people are expected to be supported annually by the payment.
For more information or to apply online go to: https://www.mygov.scot/funeral-support-payment/