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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

Help with Funeral Cost

Nearly 8,000 people die in the US each day. The rising burial cost has made it difficult for some 40 percent of families to afford it. Even though we put a religious tag on the dead body, the Creator wants us to be respectful to everyone who returns to him. Burial, cremation, leaving dead bodies to vultures are part of our traditions. They are in practice throughout our history. Muslims, Jews, part of Hindus and Christians. and some Buddhists and atheists believe in burial. The cost of a burial is higher than cremation.

Like the rest of the population, Muslims have many families who find it hard to bear a simple burial cost. Whenever any family faces such a situation, the community comes forward and raise the necessary funds. Still, the estimates are that one in every hundred dead Muslims may face cremation due to several factors.

Financial assistance is available to help pay for some or all of the burial costs for low-income families, the working poor, and senior citizens living on a limited income.

Some states might offer direct financial help for paying funeral bills, caskets, transportation costs if the death was out of state to families in hardship. The Funeral Consumers Alliance provides advice and services to deserving families. The FCA is a non-profit group and partners with several affiliates that operate across the nation.

The phone number of the main office of Funeral Consumers Alliance is 1-802-482-3437.

Social Security Administration might help individuals who are currently receiving Social Security payments from the federal government.

Alabama – According to Alabama law, each county needs to pay the necessary burial expenses and funeral costs of someone who has died in the county, provided they don't have financial means.

Alaska – Assistance is only offered for tribal members.

Arizona - Limited burial/cremation expenses may are available. Call your local county office.

Arkansas – Each County Judge offers a Paupers fund to the indigent and low income. This fund is payable to the funeral home for individuals with no insurance or cash to pay for a funeral.

California – No statewide assistance is available. Call your local coroner's office for advice and the county before contacting a funeral home.

Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) offers Burial Assistance.

Connecticut Department of Social Services – This government agency will pay up to $1800, less any assets in the deceased's estate, toward funeral or burial expenses.

Delaware – May contribute up to $400 for pauper burial in one of three county cemeteries.

Florida Health and Human Services provides proper burial arrangements for poverty-stricken residents and whose bodies are unclaimed.

Georgia – No statewide program.

Hawaii – The state provides up to $400 toward funeral home or crematory expenses. The government may also offer other support as an additional $400 for cemetery expenses.

Idaho – Funeral assistance varies by county. For example, Twin Falls may offer up to $895 for Basic Service and $695 for funeral $695.

Illinois Department of Human Services operates the Funeral and Burial Unit at (217) 524-5294. This government-run department pays the funeral and burial expenses of a person with limited income and assets. Limits include up to $1,103 for funeral costs and/or $552 for burial costs. But the family needs to apply as well. The amount of money spent, including family contribution and state assistance, may not exceed $2,000 for cemetery costs and $2,000 in funeral expenses/bills.

Indiana - Offers burial assistance.

Iowa - Provides temporary cash and grant assistance with basic and special needs, such as funeral services or related expenses.

Kansas – No programs are available.

Kentucky can pay for indigent burials. Individuals who are without financial means or insurance can get the cost of a funeral.

Louisiana – Call your local county for advice.

Maine – The state general assistance fund can pay for funerals/burials. It depends on funding levels as well as the qualification of the applicant.

Maryland Department of Human Resources runs the Burial Assistance Program. Aid is only available when their families cannot afford funeral costs on their own. 1-800-332-6347

Massachusetts – The Department of Transitional Assistance is responsible for funeral and burial expenses for those with no other options or means available to them.

Michigan offers a program known as Home & Burial Services. Burial payment assistance may be available to pay for expenses such as funeral, the burial itself, church service, or even the costs associated with the donation of a body to a medical school.

Minnesota - Some counties in the state, such as Hennepin, offer Funeral Assistance programs. In some cases, individual counties may pay funds (even up to $2,100) directly to the funeral home or providers. All aid depends on county funding and the individual's needs. The State law requires that counties pay necessary funeral expenses to cremate or bury those who die alone and destitute.

Mississippi - No statewide services are available.

Missouri – Any assistance will vary at the county level.

Montana – No statewide resources are available.

Nebraska – Some regions, such as Douglas County, will consider providing financial assistance to pay for the burial of remains of any person who dies within the county's boundaries.

Nevada – Your local Department of Social Services may be able to provide payment to pay for the cremation, funeral, or burial costs for a deceased indigent person.

New Hampshire – Any assistance will vary by county and municipality. Call a local social service office.

New Jersey – The State can help the needy and low-income pay for funeral bills through the Department of Human Services, or DHS. You can also call (609) 588-2000 for a list of local Department of Human Services offices.

New Mexico - The County may pay funeral or burial expenses.

New York – Any funeral assistance varies by county. For example, one county pays up to $1000.

New York City - The city and all boroughs provide up to $900 in financial assistance to pay for burial costs and other funeral expenses for low-income New York City residents. Call the Department of Social Services.

North Carolina – Varies by county. Some Department of Social Services may pay up to $1500.

North Dakota – Across the ND state, individual counties have burial assistance programs available for needy people and the poor. Most funeral directors are aware of the various financial and cash benefits.

Ohio - The responsibility for paying for the burial and funeral costs of all indigents and the poor has shifted to towns, cities, villages, and possibly local counties.

Oklahoma – Some counties may offer Burial or Cremation. It is a financial assistance program for families or individuals who do not have the resources to pay for or cremate a loved one.

Pennsylvania – The state provides a Burial and Cremation Services Payment from The Department of Public Welfare. It is, in effect, a statewide benefit. This government organization will provide qualified families with payments for burial and cremation services to eligible individuals. Your local County Assistance Offices will determine eligibility. Call 1-800-537-8862.

Rhode Island - May provide financial assistance with funeral expenses, cremation, or burial costs if the individual meets specific eligibility requirements. Call your local Department of Human Services office for more information or to apply.

South Carolina - Contact the local coroner. Expect limited services or aid, if any.

South Dakota – Assistance will vary by town or county. For example, Minnehaha will pay out up to $2,999, while Lincoln offers $2,500. The state required that counties need to pay the bills and cover costs if someone dies without money and if the deceased has no family member that is able or willing to help cover the costs.

Tennessee – The Indigent Burial/Cremation Services is available in some counties. Some local Social Service organizations provide coordination and funding for the burial and other costs of deceased persons who did not leave sufficient resources to pay the expense.

Texas Community Services Department administers the Bereavement Service program in some counties. This county/local government resource will ensure that every needy citizen without adequate resources or financial means will receive a simple but dignified burial. The state of Texas Constitution requires counties to cremate or bury the poor or disadvantaged.

This Bereavement program, which provides this service as a last resort, will work with referral services to obtain low-cost funeral services or directly with families to arrange a county burial. There are strict income and asset requirements.

Utah – No programs are available at the state level.

Vermont – Call your county for suggestions. Some locations may provide up to $1100.

Virginia – Funeral assistance will vary by county. Norfolk County offers $500, and other counties may provide aid too.

Washington – Programs are available at the county level. Seattle/King County provides up to $500 for funeral costs.

Washington DC – The ESA Burial Assistance Program offers cash assistance to low-income Washington, DC residents.

West Virginia – Some county human services organizations may be aware of funding.

Wisconsin - Apply for up to $1,500 for funeral home expenses and $1,000 for cemetery costs.

Wyoming – Park County may offer up to $2500, and other allowances are available from the Department Of Family Services in some instances. Individual counties have set rules and regulations for offering burial assistance for disadvantaged people.

How to apply

For more information, or to apply for funeral assistance, call the social service, community action agency, coroner, or local Department of Human Services in your state or county. roner, or local Department of Human Services in your state or county.

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