New funeral fund will help bereaved Scots on low incomes with expenses

The fund will help people with financial difficulties pay for funerals.
The fund will help people with financial difficulties pay for funerals.
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A fund aimed at helping low-income Scottish families pay funeral expenses will launch from next Monday (16 Sep).

Social Security Scotland will administer the money to bereaved families who are already receiving benefits.

The Scottish government has said that more money will be made available for the fund, and that the funeral supports payment scheme will rise with inflation. The fund replaces the UK government’s funeral payment scheme for applicants living in Scotland, with an aim to making the money more widely available and simpler to apply for.

Applications will be processed within 10 working days of receipt, as the government seeks to relieve some of the stress of arranging funerals on a tight budget.

Making the process simpler

On its website, the Scottish government says, “We are taking action to reduce funeral poverty and help people manage funeral costs.

“Replacing the UK Government's Funeral Payment for applicants living in Scotland, the new Funeral Expense Assistance benefit will provide critical financial support to people at a difficult time.

“A 2016 consultation on social security in Scotland highlighted that the current process and timescale for receiving the Funeral Payment is stressful for applicants. We aim to simplify and speed up the process, making it easier for people to understand if they are eligible.

“When Funeral Expense Assistance launches in Scotland in summer 2019, we aim to process applications within 10 working days of receipt of a completed application and make payments as soon as practicable thereafter.”

Applicants who are closest to the deceased family member must already be receiving benefits such as universal credit, disability allowance or income support.

Applications for the fund can be made online, by post or one the phone.