Help is at hand for bereaved families in Highland who may find the unexpected cost of funerals out of their reach during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Highland Council has provided funeral directors in the region with information leaflets to ensure that they are aware of the financial support that is available to relatives for some funeral costs in specific circumstances. Depending on the individual circumstances of bereaving families, help may be available through the ‘Bereavement Support Payment’ and ‘Funeral Support Payment’.
Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee Chair, Cllr Linda Munro said: “The Council is acutely aware of the unexpected pain and hardship that the sudden loss of a loved one can cause for surviving relatives and the financial hardship this can cause to surviving relatives especially where the deceased was the main source of income in their home. That is why we are keen to share this information about support that is available.”
To help those most in need at this difficult time, the Council’s Welfare Support Team can assist eligible families to apply for help with funeral costs and to claim all entitlements that may be due because of such a significant change within their home.
There may also be additional benefits and help available on an ongoing basis to help with living costs. For example, a 25% discount from the council tax bill may be available together with a further reduction from the means-tested Council Tax Reduction scheme. Furthermore, some households may be entitled to Pension Credit to top-up their state pension on a weekly basis.
The support is free and confidential, and the Welfare Support Team can be contacted by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0800 090 1004.
Contact can also be made by completing a secure online form at www.highland.gov.uk/welfaresupport