Social Assistance Funeral Programs

Cremation Service Arizona

The table below lists by State what type and level of financial assistance may be offered by a State and/or County to assist families with funeral expenses.

StateState-level AssistanceCounty DepartmentCounty-level AssistanceLimit of family contribution
AlabamaNoCounty Dept. of Human ServicesMinimal – $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
AlaskaOnly for tribal membersDept. of Health & Social Services – Division of Public Assistance (GRA Fund)GRA is a last resort fund for burial expenses if any other programs cannot meet a household’s emergency need. Up to $2,500.Yes
ArizonaNoCounty Public FiduciaryLimited funds are available from the county. Up to $500.Yes
ArkansasNoCounty JudgeEach county judge has a ‘Pauper’s Fund’ – which varies by countyYes
CaliforniaNoDept. of Public HealthCounty Coroner has control over any assistance.Yes
ColoradoYes – $1,500 for Medicaid recipients & $1,000 for SSI recipientsDept. of Human Services (CDHS) Amount spent (contribution + family funds) may not exceed $2,500
ConnecticutUp to $1,000 Recipients of SAGA & TFADept. of Social Services (CDSS) $1,000
Delaware$400 – $1,500 – burial in one of the state 3 Pauper CemeteriesDivision of Social Services No clear data
DC$450 for cremation & $800 for burial. The estate of the deceased (or family member arranging the funeral) must not exceed $800Dept. of Human ServicesESA Burial Assistance ProgramFamily contributions cannot exceed $2,000 for the total cost.
FloridaFor those below the FL poverty guideline & unclaimedFlorida Health & Human ServicesEach county contracts with a local funeral homeYes
GeorgiaNoDept. of Human Services, Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) by county. $350 to $1,200 available in assistance.Family cannot have assets or monies over $400   $250 – $500No clear data
Hawaii$400 towards funeral home or crematory expenses.  $400 towards cemetery expensesDept. of Human Services (Funeral Payment Program)
 No clear data
IdahoNoCounty Indigent ServicesVaries by county – $700 – $1,200No clear data
IllinoisRecipients of welfare programs may receive $550 – $1,100 assistance.Dept. of Human Services – Funeral & Burial Program.
Family Community Resource Center  
 Family contribution + state assistance amount may not exceed $2,000 for funeral costs and $2,000 for cemetery expenses.
Indiana$1,200 toward funeral expenses & $800 toward cemetery expenses for Recipients of TANFDivision of Family Resources – ICES Program (Integrated Client Eligibility System)Payment is made direct to the funeral establishment & a claim must be made within 90 days. Family can contribute up to $750 as long as the total does not exceed $1,750
IowaNoGeneral Assistance Office Funds – linked to Federal Poverty GuidelinesVaries by county. Up to $400 in assistance.No clear data
KansasNo Unclaimed bodies onlyN/A
KentuckyNo Varies by county & usually less than $1,000.Yes
LouisianaNoCoroner’s office of the Parish that the person died in.Each parish has a procedure for disposing of indigent bodies.No clear data
MaineThe funeral director receives directly $785 for cremation or $1,125 for burial.Maine General Assistance Program. Dept. of Health & Human Services. If any liable relatives or assets a deduction will be made from the amount the funeral director receives.
MarylandUp to $650 is paid to recipients of state benefits.Dept. of Human Services The total funeral cost must not exceed $2,500
MassachusettsUp to $1,100 for funeral costs (Paid directly to the funeral home) Must be a recipient of state benefits. (MassHealth)Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dept. of Transitional Assistance. The total funeral cost must not exceed $3,500
MichiganOffers a program called ‘Home & Burial Services’ Payment of up to $600 paid to the funeral directorDept. of Health & Human Services (SER) The claim must be made within 10 business days after death
MinnesotaNoPublic Health Department and/or Human ServicesVaries by county – $1,500 to $3,500
Application must be made within 14 days.
No clear data
MississippiNo Varies by countyNo clear data
MissouriNoCommunity Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) has an Indigent Burial & Funeral Fund.CFO current reimbursement rate is $400No clear data
MontanaNo Varies by countyNo clear data
NebraskaNoDept. of General AssistanceVaries by county – no more than $1,000.The 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.
NevadaNoDept. of Social Services Clark County Social Services (CCSS) (702) 455-4270Varies by county. In Clark County, consult the Public AdministratorNo clear data  
New HampshireNoDept. of Health & Human ServicesUp to $750 paid directly to the funeral home. No clear data
New JerseyNoDept. of Human ServicesUp to $2,245 for funeral & $525 for cemetery costsThe family contribution must not exceed $1,570
New MexicoSocial Services – Burial Assistance gives up to $200 for funeral expenses and $600 for burial.Dept. of Human Services Less than $600
New YorkNoVaries by county Dept. of Human ServicesUp to $1,250 in some counties No clear data
New York CityCheck:    Public Administrator by Borough$900The family contribution must not exceed $1,700
North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human ServicesVaries – up to $1,500 reimbursed to funeral homeNo clear data
North DakotaNo Varies by county – can be from $300 to $3,000No clear data
OhioNo Varies by county & city.
For residents with an income of 150% less than poverty line.
No clear data
OklahomaNo Varies by county – limited helpNo clear data
Oregon$650 (if available in the state budget)  No clear data
PennsylvaniaBurial and Cremation Services Payment $750 for recipients of SSI. If the deceased has more than $750 but less than $1,500Dept. of Public Welfare Yes. Deceased cannot have assets over $1,500
Rhode IslandUp to $900 for recipients of SSI & GPADept. of Human ServicesMust apply within 30 days. To be eligible cannot have resources of $400 or more
South CarolinaNoCounty CoronerVaries by county, but very limited assistanceNo clear data
South DakotaNo – state requires that counties cover the cost if a resident dies without sufficient funds to cover burial costs.Dept. of Human ServicesVaries by county. For example, Minnehaha offers up to $2,250 for a funeral with a service or $1,000 for a simple cremation.Yes
TennesseeNoSocial ServicesVaries by county. Nashville and Davidson County residents are eligible for help through the Metro Social Services officeNo clear data
TexasNoHealth Services DepartmentVaries by county – can range from $300 to $1,500No clear data
UtahNoDept. of Human ServicesRegions can provide $500 as a last option.No clear data
VermontUp to $1,100Agency of Human Services None
VirginiaFor recipients of TANF & SNAPDept. of Health & Human ServicesVaries by county. For example, Norfolk county offers $500No clear data
WashingtonNoDept. of Social & Health Services (DSHS) funeral and interment programVaries by county. Up to $300 may be available.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.
WisconsinThe Wisconsin Funeral & Cemetery Aids program (WFCAP)Dept. of Human ServicesPayment of up to $1,500 for residents enrolled in assistance programs or Medicaid.No clear data
Wyoming Dept. of Family Services (DFS)$500 or less funeral payment assistance. Veterans may receive more.No clear data

For further information to help you explore how to find help with funeral expenses, you should visit this article What are your options for paying for a funeral or cremation?  Which covers how to minimize funeral costs, different options for how to help finance funeral expenses, and various disaster funds or charitable organizations that may assist you.

You can also check out this Guide about How to Claim FEMA Funeral Assistance for a COVID-related death.

If you have a loved one in hospice care, you may find that some funeral service locations will offer a discount for a hospice patient case.  Similarly, discounts are sometimes offered for veterans.

Written by

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 15 years.