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  • Your Complete Guide to Getting Help With Funeral Expenses

    When a loved one dies, grieving family members are left with countless decisions to make about the funeral – all of which need to be made quickly.

    These include:

      • What kind of funeral should it be?
      • Which funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home should we use?
      • How much should we spend?
      • Is there anything we need to buy besides a casket?

    Every year, thousands of Americans struggle with these decisions and need help with funeral costs. It’s common for people to wonder where to start.

    A good first step is understanding what your rights are when it comes to funeral expenses and other burial costs.

    Laws regarding funerals and burials vary from state to state and understanding them can be daunting. Knowing and understanding all of your options will help reduce the stress of funeral planning and protect your rights when interacting with funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes.

    This guide walks you through all of the ways you can get help with funeral costs and burial expenses from charity organizations, non-profits, government benefits, military assistance programs, and other sources. Certain types of life insurance, such as burial insurance or final expense insurance, can also help cover the rising costs of final arrangements.

    Your Funeral Rights

    When a loved one dies, grieving family members are left with countless decisions to make about the funeral – all of which need to be made quickly. These include:

    • What kind of funeral should it be?
    • Which funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home should we use?
    • How much should we spend?
    • Is there anything we need to buy besides a casket?

    Every year, thousands of Americans struggle with these decisions and need help with funeral costs. It’s common for people to wonder where to start.

    A good first step is understanding what your rights are when it comes to funeral expenses and other burial costs.

    Laws regarding funerals and burials vary from state to state and understanding them can be daunting. Knowing and understanding all of your options will help reduce the stress of funeral planning and protect your rights when interacting with funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes. Learn more about what to do when a loved one dies.

    Below is a quick list of rights and funeral planning tips that can help you with funeral expenses.

    The Funeral Rule

    Infographic-Funeral-Law-RightsThe Funeral Rule was introduced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes from pressuring people into buying goods and services they didn’t want or need, and from charging inflated prices for the items they did want.

    The goal of this rule is to help consumers know their rights when it comes to funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home costs. The Funeral Rule gives consumers the right to:

    • Buy only the goods and services you want. Some funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home providers offer package deals that may include goods and services you don’t want or need. You are not obligated to purchase any funeral package that contains items you don’t want.
    • Receive pricing information by telephone. By law, funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes must provide pricing information for their products and services if you request it. You are not obligated to give any personal information to obtain funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home costs.
    • Receive an itemized statement of goods and services. The funeral provider must give what’s called a General Price List (GPL) that is yours to keep. It lists the individual costs of all the items and services they offer.
    • See a casket price list. Funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes are required to show a dated, printed list that includes containers not displayed. Often, only certain caskets are put on display in funeral showrooms (usually the best they have to offer). The printed list is intended to show you selections that may not be on display.
    • See a written price list for outer burial containers. Outer burial containers (also called grave liners) surround a casket once it’s been placed in the ground. There are no state laws requiring burial containers, but many cemeteries require them to prevent a grave from caving in. Your funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home may or may not sell such containers. If they do, it may be listed on their GPL. If it is not listed, you have the right to request a separate price list for the container.
    • Receive a written statement after you’ve decided what you want and before you pay. The statement should provide a detailed overview of what is being purchased and the exact cost of each service. It should itemize each cost and provide a total. It must also inform you of any cemetery or crematory requirements that may cost additional money.
    • Use an alternative container for cremation. No law requires you to use a casket for cremation. If a funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home offers cremation services, they are required to inform you that alternative containers are available. Learn more about .
    • Provide your own casket or urn. By law, a funeral provider can’t refuse a casket or urn bought from an outside source. They also can’t charge a handling fee. You are not required to be present when the casket or urn is delivered to the funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home.
    • Make funeral arrangements without embalming. No state law requires embalming for every death. Some states may require embalming or refrigeration of the body if it is not buried or cremated within a certain period of time. Refrigeration is often an acceptable alternative to embalming. Services such as direct cremation and immediate burial don’t require embalming. A funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home can’t embalm a body without your consent.

    LEARN HOW FUNERAL ADVANTAGE CAN HELP

    Catholic Charities USA, may also help in times of need.

    location near you to apply for benefits. Other benefits may also be available for qualifying individuals.

    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help with uninsured funeral costs for immediate family members. A declared disaster or emergency must be the cause of death. Covered products and services may include:

    • Casket or urn
    • Mortuary services
    • Transportation of the deceased and/or up to two family members into the area to identify the decedent (if required by state/local ities)
    • Up to five death certificates
    • Burial plot or cremation niche
    • Interment or cremation
    • Marker or headstone in a public cemetery or private burial site
    • Cost of reinterment, if disinterment occurs due to the declared disaster AND occurs in a family cemetery on private property

    To receive funeral assistance, you must provide:

    • A death certificate
    • Documentation from a designated itative state or local entity (attending physician, medical examiner’s office, or coroner’s office, as appropriate) that attributes death or the injury causing death directly to the declared emergency or major disaster
    • Proof that the applicant is the responsible party for the funeral expenses
    • Confirmation that funeral expenses have not been paid for by other resources (Social Security and VA benefits, for example)
    • Evidence of an unmet funeral cost (a receipt from a service provider, for example)

    Department of Human Resources in the county where your loved one lived. You can also read our guide to Division of Public Assistance.

     

    Arizona

    The state of Arizona does not provide funds. Counties provide up to $500 based on need. Apply to the local county government. You can also read our guide to county office.

     

    California

    The state of California may help with funeral expenses only for victims of crime or natural disaster. For low-income residents, counties may offer modest assistance to cover a basic funeral or cremation with a service. Contact the California Department of Health office in the county of residence to apply. You can also read our guide to Department of Human Services to apply. You can also read our guide to Department of Social Services.

     

    Delaware

    In Delaware, indigent people may receive between $400 and $1,500 to be buried in a state pauper cemetery. Apply for benefits through the Delaware Division of Social Services.

     

    Florida

    The state of Florida requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide burial for poverty-stricken individuals. You must apply for burial assistance at the county health department in the county where the deceased was a resident. You can also read our guide to Division of Family and Children Services to apply. You can also read our guide to Med-QUEST Division to apply.

     

    Idaho

    The state of Idaho does not offer assistance. However, you may receive $700 to $1,200 from each county’s Indigent Services Department. Contact the Indigent Services office in your county prior to cremation or burial to apply.

     

    Illinois

    In Illinois, people who qualify for the following programs may receive $550 to $1,100 to help pay for final expenses:

    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash
    • Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD) Cash
    • All Kids Assist
    • Parent/All Kids Assist
    • All Kids Moms & Babies
    • Family Assist
    • AABD Medical
    • General Assistance Foster Care/Adoption Care

    Make claims through the county Family Community Resource Center.

    You can also read our guide to Division of Family Resources. You can also read our guide to Department of Human Services in the county of residence.

     

    Kansas

    Kansas offers no formal help at the state or local level. Some counties may have limited assistance upon request.

     

    Kentucky

    The state of Kentucky does not have a program to help fund funeral costs. Amount of assistance at the county level is usually less than $1,000, and may not cover opening or closing the grave. Contact your local coroner’s office for more information. You can also read our guide to coroner’s office for help with indigent burial.

     

    Maine

    The Maine General Assistance Program offers up to $785 for cremation or $1,125 for burial, paid directly to the funeral director who applies for help. Apply locally through your Department of Health and Human Services Family Independence office.

     

    Maryland

    People receiving aid from the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) may receive up to $650 in help, as long as funeral costs are not more than $2,500. Contact DHS to apply. You can also read our guide to Department of Transitional Assistance. You can also read our guide to Department of Health and Human Services. You can also read our guide to county of residence.

     

    Mississippi

    In Mississippi, limited funds are available from the county administrator’s office to help with simple cremation costs. There are no state programs.

     

    Missouri

    County or city governments in Missouri will reimburse up to $400 to someone with no family or funds as part of the collaborative Indigent Burial and Funeral Fund. Contact the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for more information. You can also read our guide to local coroner’s office for more information.

     

    county of residence to apply.

     

    Nevada

    Nevada Health and Human Services offers assistance for direct cremation at the county level. To apply, contact the local office.

     

    New Hampshire

    In New Hampshire, the city or town will pay up to $750 directly to a funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home for a deceased person with no family or assets. Local funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes can connect you to these services.

     

    New Jersey

    The New Jersey Department of Human Services will pay up to about $2,245 for a funeral and about $525 for cemetery costs. The state bases benefit amounts on need, and families may supplement the cost up to $1,570. A funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home must make the arrangements. You can also read our guide to Human Services Department provides up to $200 toward funeral expenses and $600 for burial expenses for people who receive financial and medical help. Assistance may also be available through funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes.

     

    New York

    In New York City, boroughs offer up to $900 for services not exceeding $1,700. In the rest of New York state, benefits of up to $1,250 come from counties and municipalities. Contact your county or New York City government to apply.

     

    North Carolina

    There is no statewide program in North Carolina to help with funeral costs, but some counties may offer help. You can also read our guide to Department of Human Services at the county level.

     

    Ohio

    Ohio counties and townships offer help for residents with an income of less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. Family resources also factor into eligibility. Apply at your local government office. You can also read our guide to county administrator or the Chickasaw Nation to apply.

     

    Oregon

    The Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board works with licensed funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes to bury indigent citizens. Native American Tribes may also offer help.

     

    Department of Human Services office. You can also read our guide to Department of Human Services office.

     

    South Carolina

    There are no benefits at the state level. County benefits cover only the cost of a basic cremation. Contact the coroner in the county of residence to apply. You can also read our guide to Department of Social Services office.

     

    Tennessee

    Residents of Nashville and Davidson County are eligible for help through the Metro Social Services office. Some other counties also offer help. Contact your county administrator’s office to inquire. You can also read our guide to your county for details. You can also read our guide towhere your loved one lived.

     

    Vermont

    Vermont’s General Assistance Program pays up to $1,100 to a funeral provider. Contact the Vermont Department of Children and Families to apply.

     

    Virginia

    Virginia offers assistance to people enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Apply through the Virginia Department of Social Services office nearest you. You can also read our guide to County Community Services Office or local Veterans Affairs department to apply.

     

    West Virginia

    West Virginia’s Indigent Burial Program will pay up to $1,250 to pay for funeral expenses based on need. For more information, contact the Department of Health and Human Resources.

     

    Wisconsin

    The Wisconsin Funeral and Cemetery Aids Program (WFCAP) will pay back up to $1,500 in funeral expenses for people enrolled in assistance programs or Medicaid. For more information or to apply, contact the Department of Human Services.

     

    Wyoming

    The Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) offers funeral payment assistance, usually of $500 or less. Veterans may receive more. Contact your local DFS office to apply.

     

    Children’s Burial Assistance, Inc. (CBA) help families afford the burial of a deceased, minor child between the ages of one and 17 years. Families with no life insurance and a lack of savings are eligible to apply for help.

    CBA provides donated burial plots, funds for fees associated with opening and closing graves, and cremation services. The organization can also connect families with low- and at-cost funeral service providers. Funds go to funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes directly.

    American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB).

    crime victim compensation program. Specific benefits vary by state and cover expenses not paid for by other programs. You must apply for this program in the state where the crime occurred.

    American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Change to Win Organizing Center (CtW), or the independent labor union directly to inquire about these benefits.

    Am I allowed to run a fundraising campaign to help with funeral expenses?

    Yes. Fundraising has always been an option for families who need help paying for funeral services for a loved one. Bake sales, car washes, and church or social group fundraisers are a great place to start. You can also use online crowdfunding sites to increase your reach by appealing to family and friends through email and social media.

    Next Steps

    Funerals are like any big purchase – they require a lot of careful planning and there are lots of questions to be answered. The problem is most family members are unprepared when it comes to making many of these decisions and need help with funeral and burial costs. Families often don’t know they have protected rights when working with funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes.

    Who will be there to guide them through this process?

    That’s why there are organizations like the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society (FCGS) who can help surviving family members make smarter purchase decisions.

    To find out more about the kind of services the FCGS provides, click the link below.

    Learn more about the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society

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