People struggling to pay for a funeral may be eligible for help from a recently-started Scottish Government initiative.

Those on certain benefits or tax credits can apply for cash to help meet the costs of a funeral – even if it was up to six months ago.

Launched on September 16 last year, funeral support payment will be delivered by Social Security Scotland and will replace the existing Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) funeral expense payment for people living in Scotland.

The changes mean around 40 per cent more people will be eligible for financial support at the point of bereavement.

People will be able to apply over the phone, by post or online for the first time. And, once Social Security Scotland is fully operational, face-to-face pre-application support will be available across the country.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most tragic events any of us can face. At that difficult time, it’s even harder when there’s extra stress finding the money to pay for a funeral.

“Our new funeral support payment has been designed and tested with members of the public and stakeholders including funeral directors and welfare advisors to ensure the end product is one we can be proud of.”

You don’t happy to apply immediately, and you can claim up until six months after the day of the funeral.

To find out more you can visit or call 0800 182 2222 to speak to a trained advisor who can help you make your application.

The flat rate element of the funeral support payment will be £700 in the majority of applications.