When planning and paying for funerals, the cost can be an overwhelming expense for the family members of the lost loved one.
There are many ways to lessen the financial responsibility of paying for a funeral. Many do not realize there are several programs in place to help families pay for the funerals of their loved ones.
It’s important to give your lost loved ones the funeral and celebration of their life they deserve, and receiving federal financial assistance is a great way to make sure you can afford to do just that.
Did you know you can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance if you are a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and the funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the US may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19?
If this sounds like you, FEMA has set up a dedicated toll-free phone number that can be used to apply for funeral assistance. Learn more about this program by visiting the J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Home website. There is no deadline to apply for this federal assistance.
If you did not lose your loved one to COVID-19, there are still many programs in place to help you get federal assistance to help cover some funeral expenses.
If your loved one was receiving Social Security benefits, he or she may be eligible for a one-time death benefit of $255. This can be contributed towards funeral costs for your loved one. In most cases, your selected funeral home will notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your loved one’s passing.
While Medicare and Medicaid do not directly offer assistance to help pay for funerals, there are ways to receive financial assistance from these programs.
If you’re interested in pre-planning for your funeral to assist your family members with preparations, you may be able to receive financial assistance from Medicare and Medicaid.
If you set up a medical savings account (MSA) from an insurance company in advance, you may be able to set aside $1,500 into the account to eventually contribute towards funeral costs. If you have a spouse, they may also set up an account; reaching a total of $3,000. You can assign a beneficiary to receive these funds upon your passing, and make sure to let them know the money is to go towards funeral costs.
If you have served in the US military, you are most likely eligible for federal funeral assistance. Military Veterans are all entitled to a free burial in a national cemetery and a grave marker. Spouses and dependent children of Veterans are also entitled to a plot and marker in a national cemetery.
According to usa.gov, family members of some Veterans buried in private cemeteries may be able to get a Veterans death benefit, or burial allowance. Eligible Veterans include those who received a VA pension or disability compensation when they were alive. The burial allowance can help pay for burial, funeral, and transportation costs.
Almost all Veterans can also receive military funeral honors at no cost, including free memorial items such as headstones, markers, medallions, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.