Funeral directors across the country are supporting a campaign to raise awareness of Funeral Support Payment.
If you have had to pay for a funeral that took place in the last six months, you could still be eligible to apply for money to help with this.
Funeral Support Payment is available to people in Scotland, who are on certain benefits or tax credits.
Jamie Rodgers, owner of Jamie R Rodgers Funeral Directors of Aviemore, knows how difficult it can be for low-income families when a loved one dies.
He said: “People have just experienced a devastating blow and are then put under major pressure to find money that they don’t have for a funeral.
“They are desperate to give their loved one the perfect goodbye but simply can’t due to financial worries.
“I think Social Security Scotland’s Funeral Support Payment is really helpful. It can be the difference between having a funeral or not – and I think everyone deserves a funeral.
“My advice would be to contact your funeral director and they can help you to find out if you are eligible for Funeral Support Payment.”
Sarah O’Hagan, funeral director at G McAllister in Carluke, meets people regularly who can’t afford to meet the costs of a funeral.
She always encourages families to find out if they are eligible and apply for Funeral Support Payment.
Sarah added: “This is a very emotional job. I cry for every family that comes in the door and I feel their pain. It’s especially difficult when people feel pressured to get the best coffin and best place to have a service that they can’t afford.
“There are families that come to us who don’t have a penny. They are in floods of tears because of money worries. The new Funeral Support Payment is a huge help. It prevents people from getting further into debt.”
Allan Sturrock, of Strathmore Funeral Directors in Forfar, agrees it can be difficult for low-income families when a loved one dies.
He said: “This payment will take away money worries for a lot of families who are struggling at a very difficult time.
“It will cover some of the major costs of a funeral and allows people to give their loved ones the send-off they deserve.
“I think as funeral directors we should be doing our best to ensure that anyone who is entitled to this support is getting it.
“If any of our clients let us know that they are struggling to pay for the funeral, we would give them the Funeral Support Payment leaflet and encourage them to apply.”
Carl Marlow, funeral director at Go as You Please, Edinburgh, knows losing a person close to you is bad enough, never mind having the extra worry of paying for a funeral.
He said: “I think Social Security Scotland’s Funeral Support Payment is a really good thing.
“Being able to find out that they are eligible for support eases people’s worries.
“When a person comes to me and is worried about paying for a funeral, first and foremost, I tell them to find out if they are eligible for the payment. I would recommend it to anybody.”
Funeral Support Payment is available to people in Scotland, who are on certain benefits or tax credits, and need help to meet the costs of a funeral.
You don’t have to apply immediately, you can claim up until six months after the day of the funeral.
To find out more you can visit Funeral Support Payment or call 0800 182 2222 to speak to a trained advisor who can help with your application.