10 Resources to Help Pay for a Funeral

by MSO
white casket with red and white flowers

There are many organizations that can help defray the costs of a funeral.

1. THE DECEASED’S OWN RESOURCES

Consult the deceased’s bank and important paperwork to discover if any provisions have been made for funeral expenses. Is there an insurance policy available? Is there a savings account with a named beneficiary or some other Payable on Death (POD) bank account? Has the decedent already prepaid a funeral home, crematory or cemetery for products and services? A phone call to local funeral homes should be done to confirm if anything has been prepaid.

2. SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH BENEFITS

If the deceased person worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits, a spouse or minor child of the deceased may receive a one-time lump sum death benefit payment to be used for the funeral expenses. Social security should be notified as soon as possible when a person dies.

3. SOCIAL SECURITY SURVIVOR BENEFITS

Social Security is best known as a retirement program, but it includes survivor insurance that could be used to help fund a funeral. The amount of benefits paid to surviros depends on the average lifetime earnings of the deceased worker. The higher the earnings, the greater the benefit. An applicant can apply at any social security office.

4. VETERAN FUNERAL BENEFITS

Veterans are entitled to a number of funeral benefits, spouses and dependent children may also qualify.

These may include:

* free burial grave in national cemetery

* opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care

* free headstone and/or graves marker.

* free grave liner

* burial flag

* Presidential Memorial Certificate

* lump sum payment for burial allowance for families.

5. TAX PAYER BENEFITS

Local tax payers may qualify for reduced inurnment costs in cemeteries.

6. CHURCH MEMBERS AND MEMBERS OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS BENEFITS

Church members and members of other organizations may qualify for funeral assistance or for reduced costs. Contact organization where the deceased was a member or involved to inquire about possible death benefits.

7. CREDIT CARD HOLDERS

Credit card holders have their credit reduced or even discharged if they have a death benefits policy.

8. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Check the deceased employer. Does the company have a death benefit policy for employees?

9. CRIME VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION FUND

Criminal victims’ fund often provides funeral benefits in instances of death by a criminal act. Ask prosecutors office in your area to do a search for your city and the term “crime victim fund”.

10. DEATH BENEFITS FROM PENSIONS, SOCIETIES AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

Organizations affiliated with some professions, such as RailRoad Retirement Board, as well as some social groups, unions and pensions, offer allowances to defray funeral costs.

Consider:

* workman compensation

* civil service retirement pension

* railroad fund

* teachers fund

* trade union fund

* credit union fund

* fraternal organizations fund

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