Over 4,300 people in Scotland qualified for a payment to help towards the cost of a loved one’s funeral, according to the latest Funeral Support Payment statistics published today.
Eligible applicants currently receive an average of £1,593 to help towards the costs of a burial or cremation, and expenses such as travel and flowers.
June saw the highest number of applications to date received with 780 people applying for vital financial support.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“My thoughts are with everyone who has lost a family member or friend. 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.
“The growing need for Funeral Support Payment over the last few months could sadly be linked to the financial impact of Covid-19. Many more people are receiving Universal Credit or other qualifying benefits, which means they might also be eligible for Funeral Support Payment.
“I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might qualify for this important financial support to find out more and apply today. You can apply for the payment up to 6 months after a funeral has taken place, although if you could not apply within this timescale because of COVID-19, we’ll accept your application as on time.”
Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland David Wallace said:
“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we have been working in different ways with the vast majority of our colleagues working from home. And we know that other organisations will also have had to adapt due to coronavirus, including registrars, funeral directors and advice services.
“Many of these organisation are key in making sure that people know about this payment and we are glad to see that the message is still getting out there – I’d like to thank these services for their ongoing support.
“Despite these restrictions, we remain committed to getting payments to people who need. I am pleased that we’ve been able to protect our service and process Funeral Support Payment applications as quickly as possible – more than meeting our promise of processing within 10 working days of a completed application, once all the evidence is received.
“We are encouraging people to apply online in the first instance. For those that cannot access the online application, a limited telephone service is available where people can speak to one of our specially trained Client Advisors.”