By Democrat reporter

A new Scottish benefit has now opened for applications. The Funeral Support Payment is a one-off payment that provides people on low income benefits with a contribution towards to the cost of a funeral. It has replaced the Department for Work and Pensions’ Funeral Expenses Payment in Scotland.

The new scheme will take a more flexible approach to determining the ‘nearest relative’ who is responsible for the costs of the funeral – it is expected that this will widen eligibility by around 40% and help reach an estimated 5,000 people each year.

Applications can be made online, through Social Security Scotland’s Freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222 or by using an application form.

Jackie Baillie MSP said: ““The Funeral Support Payment will be welcome news for many people on low incomes who might struggle to meet the costs of a funeral.

“Planning a funeral can be difficult when people are already grieving so the added stress of being unable to meet the costs associated is something no family should go through. I hope that this new payment will help reduce that added stress for families in this situation in future.”

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