Across North Ayrshire, 235 payments were made to people from the Scottish Government’s Funeral Support Payment in its first full year, according to figures published on 14 November, totalling £349,053.
Since it started making payments last September, Social Security Scotland has paid out £8.7 million to 5,950 people across Scotland who have lost a loved one.
Eligible applicants currently receive an average of £1,761 to help with the costs of a burial or cremation and expenses such as travel and flowers.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP said:
“It’s important that we support people at key times like this. We want to do what we can to stop those who are dealing with grief having to get into debt too.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 means many more people are receiving Universal Credit or other qualifying benefits than previously, which means they could also be eligible for the Funeral Support Payment.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Losing a loved one is always difficult and having to worry about how to afford their funeral is something no one should experience.
“It is heartening to know that 235 people and families across North Ayrshire were helped with the payment over the first year and I encourage anyone who think they might qualify, to find out more and apply via mygov.scot/funeral-support-payment or by calling the Funeral Support Payment team on 0800 182 2222.
“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, Social Security Scotland will accept your application as on time.
“Making sure that everyone gets the financial support they are entitled to is a basic step in putting dignity and respect at the heart of social security in Scotland.”
The full report is available here.
Funeral Support Payment can help cover burial or cremation costs (these costs vary throughout the country, therefore reasonable local costs are published here).
The payment includes a flat rate for any other expenses - £1,000 for the majority of applications and £122.05 if the person who died had made provision for their funeral through a funeral plan. It can also cover some travel, document, and medical cost.