Saturday, January 28, 2012

Where to Look for Burial Funding Assistance

Providing the poor with a decent, dignified burial is one of the oldest social services on earth.  If you need help with the expenses of burying a loved one, here are some places to look:

--If your locality has a 211 agency referral number, call ask the referal experts to see if there are any agencies that provide burial expenses.  If your area has a searchable website, search under "burial/creamation expense assistance."

The Funeral Consumers Alliance, a fine organization, has a page devoted to indigent funerals, including a state-by-state chart of public funeral funding.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs also provides some assistance to members of federally recognized tribes if they lack other resources.  See this site for details on how to file for assistance. 

--Your state's social service agency.  Some help with burial expenses for poor people.  In Michigan, this is the website for burial assistance.   

Another source for help in Michigan for the families of those who commit suicide is the nonprofit group Six Feet Over, which offers assistance with the cleanup, funeral and memorial for the victim.  See their website (bottom of the page) for financial assistance).

 --In the city of Toledo, the Cemetary Office of the Department of Parks and Recreation handles the cremation and burial of indigents.  Their website is in need of modifications.  Please call directly at 419 936 3081.

 --FYI, here's a page from the Ohio Legislative Services (albeit 2007) on the obligation of local and state government to provide burial or cremation for certain poor people, like veterans and residents of state institutions.  According to 9.15 of the Ohio Revised Code, if an indigent person dies and is not a resident of an institution, the city or municipality must pay for the cost of a burial or cremation.  The government body is not absolved of the cost of a burial or cremation if the body is claimed by an indigent person.

--Here's a listing of some indigent burial services in the greater Cleveland area, courtesy of the 211 referral service.

--Some counties help with indigent funerals.  In Florida, contact your county's human services agency.

--In Oregon, indigent burial costs can be applied for at the state Department of Health.

--In Pennsylvania, here's the state regulations and who to contact for indigent burial.

--In Alaska, here's the site of the state social service agency that has "limited" funds for that.

--In Alabama, the county has the responsibility to provide a small sum for the burial of indigents, and those whose relatives cannot bury them.  In the case of deaths on the job, the employer is supposed to pay up to $3000 towards the funeral.

--In Illinois, it's covered by the Department of Family and Community Services, and here's the informational link.  For more information, call  (217) 524-5294 or (217) 558-6653. 

--In the District of Columbia, there's the Department of Human Services, which will give $800 towards a funeral or $450 for a cremation.  The total cost of the funeral cannot be over $2000.

--In Louisiana, the burial of paupers may be paid for by the municipality or parish where they died, with each city or parish establishing the maximum amount paid.  If the pauper were in a state institution, the state of Louisiana is responsible for their burial.

--In Georgia, the county deals with costs for the burial of indigents, and you start by contacting the county's Department of Social Services. Here's a useful publication to give more details--see #16.

--Here's the state information on indigent burial assistance in the state of Indiana.

 .--In New York, there is a guide for burial assistance options.  It's been updated (2011) and may give you an idea of where to go for help. There’s also assistance for New York City residents of up to $900 and an application online.

--For indigent people of the Jewish faith in the New York City area, the Hebrew Free Burial Association will provide a religiously and culturally appropriate funeral.

--Social security.  There is a small lump sum amount at the death of a Social Security recipient ($255).

--Was the deceased a veteran?  Besides VA benefits, some states have burial funds for veterans.  For veterans who have died in military conflict, while a resident of a VA-approved nursing home, receiving veteran's pension or other circumstances, they may be entitled to more compensation.  See this page.  Check your state's veterans office.  Here' the information for Ohio veterans burial benefits.


--Did they die as the result of a crime?  Some states have benefits for those who have died as the result of a crime

--Did they die as a result of a federally-declared disaster?  If so, and the family has no financial resources for burial, they may be eligible for disaster aid.   If so, contact FEMA at 1 (800) 621-FEMA (3362) for more information.

--Religious organizations. If you are a member of a church or denomination, they may help the burial of indigent people in that faith. 

--If the deceased is a child, there are organizations that assist in funding the burial of children in parts of the U.S.  The Unforgettables helps with funeral expenses of children in Orange County, San Bernadino and Riverside, California.  AMT Children of Hope, based in the New York City area, works to prevent the abandonment of infants, but also provides assistance for the burial of children.  Child Burial Assistance Inc. of Georgia also helps child burials in that state.  In Michigan, the Olivia Raines Foundation helps up to $500 with the cost of an infant's burial.  In California, the Emilio Nares Foundation helps with the cost of children who die of cancer in their area of service.  Call 1 (877) 507-7788 for more information.

AgapeCare Cradle, Inc offers financial help for the burial of infants in the Witchita, Kansas area.

The Tears Foundation will assist in funding the burial of an infant between 20 weeks gestation and 1 year old in the states of New York, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington state, if there are sufficient funds.  You can contact them at (253) 200-0944.

--The angels of Aidpage came up with another winner: a page full of suggestions on burial financial help.  They include references to several individual cities.  like Milwaukee,   The link to Nashville is dead, but I found the new Nashville burial help site here, and here is the Maryland burial siteColorado has burial assistance also.

--Another possibility is crowdfunding. See this blog entry for more.


***See more on indigent burial at this entry.****

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never would have thought to look at half of those places. Great list.
-Jack @ human services software

Anonymous said...

Where is help in minnesota?

Linda Koss said...

In Minnesota, state law requires you to go to the county for assistance. Here's the citation to the Minnesota law:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=261.035

Within this framework, every county may provide different assistance. Here, for instance are the regs and procedures for Hennepin County:

http://hennepin.us/portal/site/HennepinUS/menuitem.b1ab75471750e40fa01dfb47ccf06498/?vgnextoid=1ee9772f55183210VgnVCM10000049114689RCRD

Contact your county government for assistance.

Anonymous said...

Is there any help in Missouri, specifically St. Louis County?

Linda Koss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Koss said...

Try (800) 427-4626, the 211 for your area. I tried, but could not answer your specific questions about location, age, veteran status of the dead person, which you could. They told me it was a slim chance in any case. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Terri Gately said...

Is there any help in Arkansas to help pay for your child's monument for the cemetary?

Linda Koss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Koss said...

Most places do not have money for memorials, but there is a place in Phoenix, AZ, that does limited numbers of memorials for dead children, without a geographic limit that I can find. It's the Dempsey Burdick Memorial Foundation, and the link to pursue an application is:

http://dempseyburdick.com/apply_for_help.html

I hope this helps.

sara marsden said...

Great information! I would just like to add that DFS Memorials also helps to connect families with their nearest low cost funeral provider. In many areas a cremation can be performed for between $575 and $995. This helps families save thousands on funeral costs. A simple direct cremation is carried out and the ashes returned to the family who can then arrange their own memorial service.

For more information visit : www.dfsmemorials.com

Catherine Hardy said...

I am the founder of a non profit in Michigan Called Six Feet Over. Please feel free to add us to this amazing list. We help with funeral, clean up and memorial service costs for those surviving loss by suicide in Michigan. Our email is sixfeetover2013@gmail and our website is being constructed and should be up soon. Thank you, Katie Hardy

Linda Koss said...

Thank you, Ms. Hardy, we'll include your information.

Anonymous said...

My newphew is in newark new jersey we are looking for help to bury him do any one now where or whom to call

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Shawn Onion we lost my newphew on Sunday October 5 my family and I are really strugglingtrying to raise money to bury Omar Hudson my newphew which I loved with all my heart a goodkid.We have Omar body at Cottons funeral home in Newak New Jersey the cost of the funeral is 4900.00 we raised up 780.00 so far im pleading and asking any one to help my number is 570-855-5019 please can you help my family to help bury my newphew

Linda Koss said...

Most government agencies won't pick up the costs of a funeral-home funeral. What might work better is setting up an account at a crowdfunding site especially for funerals, like funeralfund.com or youcaring.com, and raising the money that way. I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

My beloved grandmother passed away on Friday, she was a NY native until a few months ago when my mother sent for her from Massachusetts. We have not found any assistance, or any service that would be appropiate to her wishes. I have set up a fundraiser both with GoFundMe and GivingForward. Please help us lay our grandmother to rest. Any support would be very much appreciated.

Gofundme.com/hh9zik

Anonymous said...

Where can we get help in louisiana

Stephanie A. Leber said...

My dad passed away September 17, 2014 in Olive Branch, Ms but my brother had Bartlett Funeral Home in Bartlett, Tennessee pick him up.... Unfortunately my dad was creamiated so his ashes are there. My dad didn't have a will, etc and I need financial help getting my share of his ashes and the certified death certificate asap. What state do I ask & what site do I ask? He doesn't qualify for VA assistance program, I have no family help, & medically not able to work.... Please help it's breaking my heart more my dads ashes are still there.

Linda Koss said...

Anonymous:in Louisiana, any noninstitutionalized poor person is the responsibiity of the parish or city where they died. However, some places don't have the.money. Contact.city or.parish officials, or try crowdfunding at the sources listed above.

Linda Koss said...

Stephanie--there are no public services for what you describe. My suggestion would be to try to put your request up on Modest Needs (www.modestneeds.org) to see if someone could help you with your request. Good luck to you.

Stephanie A. Leber said...

Ok thanks

Anonymous said...

Do u have any resources available for Burial/crematory services in Michigan that are for very low income families? TIA

Linda Koss said...

There are several: the state Department of Social Services (http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_5531-18246--,00.html). For infants, there is the Olivia Raines Foundation (http://oliviaraine.org/). For people whose family member has committed suicide, there is Sox Feet Over. Contact them at sixfeetover2013@gmail. If they died as a result of a violent crime, you might also try the Michigan Department of Community Health's Crime Victim Compensation program (http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-54783_54853---,00.html).

Anonymous said...

What about georgia do they have assistance

Anonymous said...

Are there any resources in georgia for burial are cremation

Linda Koss said...

If you live in Georgia, and are too poor to pay for a fineral, contact your county Department of Children and Families for help. Also, in the case of a child's funeral, they the Child Burial Assistance listed above.

unknown said...

Are there any resources in California?

unknown said...

Are there any resources in California?

Linda Koss said...

The only resource publicly is the county coroner's office where you live.

Doris Martinez said...

My 5 yr old cousin Verna Tobicoe was brutally murdered last week by her "stepmom" Lisa Villarana,. We need help in laying my beautiful cousin down to rest. We are located in Chicago, Illinois and any help with programs or other resources that can help will be greatly appreciated. We have a go fund me page available as well. Thanks so much for everyone help.

Doris Martinez said...

My 5 yr old cousin Verna Tobicoe was brutally murdered by her "stepmother" Lisa villarana. We live in chicago, ILLINOIS. We need help in laying baby Verna to rest. Any programs or resources we can use would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.

Stephanie A. Leber said...

@Doris Martinez 1st off my condolences to u and ur family.... I live 3 hrs away from u so I don't know if it applies there, but here in Peoria Illinois public aide helps if Verna was on a medical card....my dad when he passed away 6 & half months ago was eligible here for help if he passed away here in Peoria Illinois....but because he passed away in a different state they couldn't.... U could also try salvation army or united way.... I'd help if I could I'm still working on my dad's stuff.... But u & ur family are in my thoughts & prayers.... I'll look around on Google for u as well if u need me too.... God bless

Stephanie A. Leber said...

PS Do u have a e mail I can e mail u my findings?!

Linda Koss said...

Ms. Martinez,I'm sorry for your loss. You might try the Illinois crime compsation fund, ad well as emerge other child burial sites mentioned here:http://www.ag.state.il.us/victims/cvc.html

Anonymous said...

Were can I get help in north Carolina

Linda Koss said...

That depends. North Carolina mostly relies on county social service agencies. However, in Mecklenburg County, the Roman Catholic Church has taken over this assistance for about the last 20 years: http://ccdoc.org/services/burial-assistance

Jameel Brewer said...

Hello, my wife and I recently lost our son 3 days after he was born at 22 weeks gestation and we're having a hard time funding his funeral. We live in Illinois and the funds have been exhausted for the year and help is slim. He have a gofundme @ www.gofundme.com/prayersforJosiah where you can read our story and please give if you can or share our story so maybe some one else may. I thank you for your time.

Jameel Brewer said...

Hello, my wife and I recently lost our son 3 days after he was born at 22 weeks gestation and we're having a hard time funding his funeral. We live in Illinois and the funds have been exhausted for the year and help is slim. He have a gofundme @ www.gofundme.com/prayersforJosiah where you can read our story and please give if you can or share our story so maybe some one else may. I thank you for your time.

Linda Koss said...

I'm sorry for your loss, and sorry I have not been at the blog for awhile. Besides the crowd funding sites, you might want to check out The Tears Foundation (www.theyearsfoundation.org), which has a fund for the burial of infants in several states, including Illinois.

JulieAnne said...

Hello, the email address for sixfeetover is no longer valid.....here is a link to their site's resource page: http://www.sixftover.org/#!resources/cc7l Thank you so much for posting this, even though the email didn't work, I found the webpage & shared it w/a girlfriend of mine who recently lost her husband to suicide.... Hopefully some assistance pans out for her.

JulieAnne said...

Hello, the email address for sixfeetover is no longer valid.....here is a link to their site's resource page: http://www.sixftover.org/#!resources/cc7l Thank you so much for posting this, even though the email didn't work, I found the webpage & shared it w/a girlfriend of mine who recently lost her husband to suicide.... Hopefully some assistance pans out for her.

Linda Koss said...

JulieAnne, thank you. I have changed the information on Six Feet Over.

FOR BRANDI LEE said...

Do you know of any help in the state of Delaware? PLEASE I WOULD BE EVER SO GREATFULL FOR ANY INFORMATION YOU MAY HAVE. MAY GOD BESS YOU. I'M IN NEED OF HELP GETTING MY DAUGHTER A HEADSTONE, PLEASE HELP ME IN HONORING THE LIFE aND Death OF MY beautiful BRANDI LEE WHOM WAS tragically killed in a automobile acciden at the age 18. Im on disability and just feel so guilty that im unable to buy her one myself. Thank you again linda wardrop

Linda Koss said...

I found a foundation that does provide assistance in buying a headstone. It's for children, but you might ask if a young person of 18 is eligible. The foundation is: the Bradley Summersill Foundation (http://bradleysummersillfoundation.org/index.html)

Anonymous said...

Any resources in Nebraska?

Latetia Dixon said...

Is there any resources in columbia mo please mu guy just past away on September 4 and he didn't have any insurance and i am in really need of help we have 3 boys 10,7,and 17 months this was unexpected please help

Linda Koss said...

In Boone County Missouri, try the Department of Community Services at 573 886-4298.

Anonymous said...

before my dad passed away he bought two burial plots. my brother passed away 4 years ago and i would like to bury him next to our dad. i can't afford to pay the funeral home to dig up the ground and get a container they require. our dhs office says the state won't help because you have to apply within 10 days of the person's death. is there any place you know of where i can get some help? thank you

Anonymous said...

i forgot to mention i live in michigan

Linda Koss said...

Nebraska indigent burials are taken care of by the county. You should check the county officials for this information.

Anonymous said...

linda please respond to my post dated sept. 11, 2015

Linda Koss said...

Anonymous in Michigan, I have not responded because I don't know of any charitable sources. If your church can't contribute to this, the other idea I can think of is putting your need on a crowdfunding site, like youcaring.com or funeralfund.com or youcaring.com. Good luck to you.

Vicky Wesney said...

Do you know if this website only helps people in Michigan??

Vicky Wesney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicky Wesney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicky Wesney said...

Do you know of any financial assistance in Ohio for a family whose teen daughter just died 9-19-15 from suicide? The parents have no Ins or money for a funeral.

Linda Koss said...

Vicky, I do not currently know of any resources besides the ones mentioned. I have some calls out to caresprevention.org to see if they know of any, and another place. I know it sounds old, but crowdsourcing at the places mentioned, churches, and contributions from friends and family may help. Otherwise, the public option in Ohio is to contact the city or township where they live.

Linda Koss said...

Vickie, another possibility is a nearby church. Do the parents belong to an organized faith or church? That could be another source of help.

Anonymous said...

Is there any agencies in West Virginia that could help with the expense of having to bring a loved one home out of state and helping pay for funeral?

Linda Koss said...

The WV Dept of Health and Human Resources could not answer that without more information. Please call them at 404 354 4619, and ask for the person in charge of indigent burials. Also, see this handbook to find out more about the state program in general:

http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcf/family_assistance/documents/2015_Funeral_Director_Handbook_Black.pdf

I'm sorry for your loss, and wish you luck. Even if they could pay part of it, one of the crowdsourcing sites, or your church, may be able to help.

judy Martinez said...

Is there burial assistance help in Oregon

Unknown said...

Hi, my name is Jimmy and I reside in Orlando, Florida. My family would like to seek your financial support for the burial and funeral services of our beloved mom Ana Cortez, as we are in the planning stages of the services, as she is currently under hospice care. We are seeking your assistance and we hope that you can help us in this time of need. Any financial assistance will be highly appreciated. Thank you very much and God Bless you and your generosity. We have set up an account at
https://www.gofundme.com/anacortez
Please help us.

Anonymous said...

My father in law passed on November 9, 2015 and is set to be buried on November 13, 2015 by ushery funeral home in Talladega Alabama only if his wife and kids can come up with $4,500 by Friday morning. Any ideas for help for them?

Linda Koss said...

Sorry for the loss of your father in law. I have been ill, but still could not have thought of something to raise that amount of money in so short a time. Most burial bureaucracies take more time than that. All I could even think of would be a loan until you went to the state of Alabama.

joseph blevins said...

I don't know if you will get this. But I live in columbus ohio and Monday night I seen a story on the news that has stuck me with. I can't stop thinking about it. A family of 4 were shot in there home. A mother father and a 7 year old boy, died from the wounds. A 12 year old daughter is at nationwide children's hospital recovering from her wounds. This has been on my mind all week. Seeing how the holidays are here this 12 year old girl has lost her family.
I don't know them never meant. The family has a go find me page set up to cover the cost of the funerals. I'm sending this to anyone I can think of in order to try to help them. I'm not in a place where I could donate myself. https://www.gofundme.com/andersoncremeans
That is the go fund me page also look at the family photos just young couple trying to have a life. So sad. This happened on the westside of columbus on Monday evening if you want to google it. Hope you have a good Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

I need help with funding on my grandmothers funeral.. she was 83 and poor and had no insurance we are having a hard time paying for her funeral I live in Kentucky so if anyone has any suggestions on trying to help I called the local churches most didn't help or would like to but no funding.. so if anyone would like to help with any suggestions please email me at melissa_k_29@yahoo.com

thanks in advance

melissa

alisha said...

Please if someone can help my friend. In Toledo oh is a single mother. Of five and is trying to pay for her dads funeral an has financial problems an im reaching out for help she was the only child and. Now her father has passed away so shes trying to raise money 4194644632 is my number if some one can help her i have her number please. Call me even to give me numbers that do help toledo ohio

Anonymous said...

My uncle passed only living relative is his mentally disabled brother (my other uncle),& my mom which neither can afford a funeral. Any help would be great we live in Texas. He got ss and have no insurance nothing he passed monday 1-11-16

Annomyus said...

Is there help in Mannford ok my step mom passed and my step sister is the only one and is a single mother as am I we can't afford it

Annomyus said...

Is there help in Mannford ok my step mom passed and my step sister is the only one and is a single mother as am I we can't afford it

Unknown said...

I my cousin in los Angeles California has die at only 18 and mother has lost her job around the same time she need help to buried him she been so sad and stress out she need help he has a https://www.gofundme.com/25meyfak but it not enough...

Anonymous said...

I am looking for any suggestions for help with burial assistance. My brother just got married in November 2015 and his wife died suddenly of a heart attack on June 17th 2016. They had no life insurance and we are trying to find ways of raising money to put her to final rest. Any suggestions would be helpful and if anyone reading feels touched in their heart to contribute to our give forward page we are eternally grateful. Please copy this into your web browser https://pages.giveforward.com/remembrance/page-1592ht2/

or go to www.giveforward.com and search for Terrie King Memorial Fund.

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Anonymous said...

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