A new benefit which will help people on low-incomes in Dumbarton and the Vale meet the costs of a funeral is due to be launched this summer.

Regulations to enable this new system of Funeral Expense Assistance (FEA) were presented to Parliament for approval on Friday, January 18.

Around 40 per cent more people will be eligible to apply for FEA, which replaces the current DWP Funeral Payment in Scotland and will be delivered by the Scottish Government through Social Security Scotland.

The Scottish Government says that as with all their benefits, the FEA has been developed with input from those who have experience of the present system.

Read More: More Scots to get financial help to cover funeral costs

This has helped them to identify and address the parts of the DWP application process that people currently find difficult or distressing to improve the process and remove barriers to apply.

Help will be provided towards burial or cremation costs, certain transport costs, plus £700 for other costs such as funeral directors fees or flowers.

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, 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 FEA will increase eligibility by around 40 per cent and so reach far more people struggling with the costs, and is backed by around £2 million additional funding.

“We have committed to annually uprating the £700 to take account of the impact of inflation, something the UK Government has not done since 2003.

“This is a demand led benefit and forecasts are that we will spend £6.3 million in the first full year of operation, 25 per cent more than the DWP spent on this benefit in 2017/18.

"And like the Best Start Grant, we will encourage people to apply and get this financial support to people who need it most.

“I am pleased that this benefit will be available later this year and will deliver an improved scheme to help those on lower incomes pay for the cost of a funeral.

"This fits well with our wider work to tackle funeral poverty and the cost of funerals.”