Social Assistance Funeral Programs: Financial help for a Funeral



Social Assistance Funeral Programs: Financial help for a Funeral

State State-Level Assistance County Department County-level Assistance Limit of family contribution
Alabama No County Dept. of Human Services Minimal - $400
According to Alabama law, each county needs to pay the necessary burial expenses or funeral costs of someone who has died in the county if they don’t have financial means. 
No clear data
Alaska Only for tribal members Dept. of Health & Social Services – Division of Public Assistance (GRA Fund) GRA is a last resort fund for burial expenses if household’s emergency need cannot be met by any other programs. Yes
Arizona No County Public Fiduciary Limited funds available from county Yes
Arkansas No County Judge Each county judge has a ‘Pauper’s Fund’ – varies by county Yes
California No Dept. of Public Health County Coroner has control over any assistance. Yes
Colorado Yes – $1,500 for Medicaid recipients & $1,000 for SSI recipients Dept. of Human Services (CDHS) Amount spent (contribution + family funds) may not exceed $2,500
Connecticut Up to $1,800
Recipients of SAGA & TFA
Dept. of Social Services (CDSS) $1,000
Delaware $400 - $1,500 – burial in one of the states 3 Pauper Cemeteries Division of Social Services No clear data
DC $450 for cremation & $800 for burial.
Estate of deceased (or family member arranging funeral) must not exceed $800
Dept. of Human Services ESA Burial Assistance Program Family contribution cannot exceed $2,000 for total cost.
Florida For those below FL poverty guideline & unclaimed Florida Health & Human Services Each county contracts with a local funeral home Yes
Georgia NO Dept. of Human Services, Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) by county Family cannot have assets or monies over $400

$250 - $500

No clear data
Hawaii $400 towards funeral home or crematory expenses.  $400 towards cemetery expenses Dept. of Human Services
(Funeral Payment Program)
No clear data
Idaho No County Indigent Services Varies by county - $695 - $1,200 No clear data
Illinois $1,103 for funeral costs & $552 for burial expenses.

Budget for the State-assistance program reportedly cut from Jan 2015 & will be discontinued from 2016.

Dept. of Human Services – Funeral & Burial Program Family contribution + state assistance amount may not exceed $2,000 for funeral costs and $2,000 for cemetery expenses.
Indiana $600 toward funeral expenses & $400 toward cemetery expenses for
Recipients of TANF
Division of Family Resources – ICES Program (Integrated Client Eligibility System) Family can contribute up to $750 as long as total does not exceed $1,750
Iowa No General Assistance Office
Funds – linked to Federal Poverty Guidelines
Varies by county. For example: Linn County up to $1,000 & Henry County $1,200 No clear data
Kansas No Unclaimed bodies only N/A
Kentucky No Varies by county Yes
Louisiana No Coroner’s office of the Parish that the person died in. Each parish has a procedure for disposing of indigent bodies. No clear data
Maine Funeral director received $785 for cremation or $1,125 for burial. Maine General Assistance Program If any liable relatives or assets a deduction will be made from the amount the funeral director receives.
Maryland Up to $650 paid to recipients of state benefits. Dept. of Human Services Total funeral cost must not exceed $2,500
Massachusetts Up to $1,100 for funeral costs (Paid direct to the funeral home)
Must be a recipient of state benefits. (MassHealth)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Total funeral cost must not exceed $3,500
Michigan Offers a program called ‘Home & Burial Services’
Payment of up to $600 paid to funeral director
Dept. of Health & Human Services (SER) Claim must be made within 10 business days after death
Minnesota No Public Health Department and/or Human Services Varies by county – some counties pay up to $2,100
[Direct to funeral home]
No clear data
Mississippi No Varies by county No clear data
Missouri No Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) has an Indigent Burial & Funeral Fund  CFO current reimbursement rate is $400 No clear data
Montana No Varies by county No clear data
Nebraska No Dept. of General Assistance Varies by county
Lancaster County provides $800
Douglas County will provide assistance for cremation to an authorized mortuary in Douglas County.
Spouse of the deceased can earn no more than the federal poverty level, $903 a month for one person. And the deceased, if there is no spouse, can have no more than $800 in his or her estate.
Nevada No Dept. of Social Services
Clark County Social Services (CCSS)
(702) 455-4270
Varies by county. In Clark County consult the Public Administrator No clear data
New Hampshire No Dept. of Health & Human Services An amount of up to $1,000 Recipients of Welfare (TANF) No clear data
New Jersey No Dept. of Human Services Up to $2,246 for funeral & $524 for cemetery costs Family contribution must not exceed $1,570
New Mexico Social Services – Burial Assistance gives up to $200 Dept. of Human Services Less than $600
New York No Varies by county
Dept. of Human Services
No clear data
New York City "Click Here" Public Administrator by Borough $900 Family contribution must not exceed $1,700
North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services Varies – up to $1,500 reimbursed to funeral home No clear data
North Dakota No Varies by county – can be from $300 to $3,000 No clear data
Ohio No Varies by county & city No clear data
Oklahoma No Varies by county – limited help No clear data
Oregon $650 (if available in state budget) No clear data
Pennsylvania Burial and Cremation Services Payment $750 for recipients of SSI.
If deceased has more than $750 but less than $1,500
Dept. of Public Welfare Yes.
Deceased cannot have assets over $1,500
Rhode Island Up to $850 for cremation and $900 for burial.
Recipients of SSI & GPA
Dept. of Human Services To be eligible cannot have resources of $400 or more
South Carolina No County Coroner Varies by county but very limited assistance No clear data
South Dakota No – state requires that counties cover the cost if a resident dies without sufficient funds to cover burial costs. Dept. of Human Services Varies by county. For example Minnehaha offers up to $2,250 for a funeral with a service or $1,000 for a simple cremation. Yes
Tennessee No Social Services Varies by county No clear data
Texas No Health Services Department Varies by county – can range from $300 to $1,500 No clear data
Utah No Dept. of Human Services Regions can provide $500 as a last option. No clear data
Vermont Up to $1,100 Agency of Human Services None
Virginia For recipients of TANF & SNAP Dept. of Health & Human Services Varies by county. For example Norfolk county offers $500 No clear data
Washington No Dept. of Social & Health Services
(DSHS) funeral and interment program
Varies by county
King County offer up to $500 for veterans.
No clear data
West Virginia $1,250 [to qualify the applicant must have less than $2,450 in resources] Dept. of Health & Human Services Family contributions of up to $1,200 are allowed
Wyoming Deceased must have been a Wyoming resident, eligible for Medicaid $995 Department of Family Services Varies by county No clear data
Expert Author: Sara J. Marsden

Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 5 years.

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Published: 06/29/2015
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