Praise for extra funeral support


Amount rises from 1 April 

3rd February 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Charites have welcomed news payments to help towards funeral costs will increase from £700 to £1,000.

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.

Introduced in September last year, the scheme replaced the UK government’s Funeral Expense Payment in Scotland, increasing eligibility. It is intended to help alleviate the burden of debt faced by those on low income benefits when paying for a funeral.

Citizens Advice Scotland spokesperson Jamie Stewart said: "We have fought a long campaign on this issue and have been calling for better support for people who are struggling to afford a decent funeral for their loved one. We are pleased the government has listened to our campaign.”

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).

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.”