People who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss are encouraged to check if they are eligible for financial support as part of the 18th Baby Loss Awareness week (October 9-15) .
Bereaved parents who get certain benefits or tax credits could be eligible for payments to help ease some of the financial pressure when a baby is stillborn or dies after birth.
Eligible people could still receive a Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment of up to £600. They may also qualify for the Funeral Support Payment to help towards the costs of a funeral.
The Scottish Government involved parents who have experienced baby loss in the design of these services to make sure that it met their needs and was sensitive to these specific circumstances.
Their input has influenced website content, including simplifying wording around eligibility to make it easier to understand.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The loss of a baby is one of the hardest things any parent can go through. It is awful to think that at a time of such grief and loss, some parents will also be faced with the pressure of finding money to get them through this period and will have already spent money on baby goods. We want to make sure that people in this position know that there is support available.
“We know that bereaved parents can often feel overwhelmed and may wish to talk things through with someone – that’s why Social Security Scotland has specially trained Client Advisers available to guide people through what they may be eligible for and the application process.
“And whilst this is Baby Loss Week, we want people to know that this help is here all year round. That is why we are working closely with organisations that provide vital support to parents who experience this to promote these payments.”
Chief Executive of SiMBA, Sara Fitzsimmons, MBE, RM said: “It is important that we support bereaved parents in any way that we can, so it was an honour to be able to support the focus group for the Best Start Grant.
“We brought together parents who had themselves been bereaved, so they could help review and give feedback on literature and words with an empathetic understanding and help support bereaved families who may benefit from some financial help after the loss of their baby.”
People can apply for the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment for a baby that was stillborn or died after they were born – they can apply from the 24th week of pregnancy to six months after the baby’s birth date
Parents of a baby who was born alive prematurely and who died before the 24th week of pregnancy are eligible to apply for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment - it is a £600 payment for a first child and £300 for other children.
Funeral Support Payment can help towards burial or cremation costs. It can also cover some travel, document, and medical costs – the average total payment is around £1,500.
A client leaflet explaining what support is available at:
People can find out more and apply at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222
SiMBA support those affected by the loss off a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth, full details can be found at www.simbacharity.org.uk