Implementation of the Funeral Expense Assistance
13. FEA will be delivered by Social Security Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish Government. Social Security Scotland is headquartered in Dundee and has a further site of similar size in Glasgow. Social Security Scotland is already delivering Carers Allowance Supplement and Best Start Grant (BSG). It aims to recruit a diverse workforce that represents our society and the people who will use our service.
14. Building on the systems that are already in place for BSG, the FEA service design team has been developing the business processes that will allow clients to access and receive the FEA support since the autumn of 2017 and will continue to do so in preparation for the launch of FEA by summer 2019. We have continually tested evolving designs with prospective clients to make the application process as user-friendly as possible. Insights gained from this research include how we can make the language used in the application form easy to understand and how we can format the application form, so that it meets the needs of people who have impairments. Once FEA payments are being made, we will continue to make improvements based on feedback from people who use the service.
15. The Scottish Government has committed to processing FEA applications within 10 working days of receipt of a completed application, with payment made as soon as practicable thereafter. We are therefore also looking at how we can make the application process as streamlined as possible particularly when we already have information about an applicant in the system from a previous application, or can seek this electronically. The principle is that we should place the minimum evidence requirements on clients to reduce any barriers to their application.
Email: Mark Cook