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Local authority raises awareness of help it can offer grieving families

By Alan Hendry

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Help is at hand for bereaved families in the Highland Council area who may find the unexpected cost of funerals out of their reach during the Covid-19 pandemic.

White lily and blurred burning candles on table in darkness, space for text. Funeral symbol
White lily and blurred burning candles on table in darkness, space for text. Funeral symbol

The local authority 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 families, help may be available through the Bereavement Support Payment and the Funeral Support Payment.

Sutherland councillor Linda Munro, who chairs the health, social care and wellbeing committee, 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 bring 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, 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 per cent discount from the council tax bill may be available, together with a further reduction from the means-tested Council Tax Reduction scheme.

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 welfare.support@highland.gov.uk or by calling 0800 090 1004.

Contact can also be made by completing a secure online form on the welfare support section of the council website.

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