More than £300,000 has been handed to cash-strapped families in East Renfrewshire to help them pay funeral costs over the last four years, new figures show.

A total of 175 applications for a Funeral Support Payment have been successful in the local area since the benefit was launched by the Scottish Government in September 2019.

The average payment in the 2022/23 financial year was £1,835, with recipients able to put the cash towards burial or cremation costs, as well as other expenses such as a coffin, flowers or the funeral director's fee.

Help is available to people who already receive Universal Credit, tax credits or certain other benefits and are responsible for paying for a funeral.

Those who apply can ask for the payment to go straight to a funeral director, with around two-thirds of applicants choosing to do so since the scheme was launched.

People can apply for support up to six months after the date of the funeral.

Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security, said: “When low-income families are struggling to deal with a bereavement, the last thing they need, particularly during this cost-of-living crisis, is to face the added worry of paying for the costs of a funeral.

“The Scottish Government's Funeral Support Payment can give eligible people the financial support they need during a difficult time in their lives.

“I would urge anyone who thinks they could be eligible to apply and to remember that people can apply up to six months after the funeral of their family member, friend or loved one.”

For more information, including details of who is eligible for the benefit, visit or call Social Security Scotland’s specially-trained bereavement team free of charge on 0800 182 2222.