The average burial in the U.S. costs $7,640. Even though cremation is far less expensive than a traditional burial, it’s still a significant expense for many families. But the fact remains, the deceased must be buried or cremated, and it’s up to the next of kin to make sure it happens.
Hopefully, the deceased’s estate has the funds to cover all funeral expenses. This will be the first resource to tap into, but many people don’t budget for funeral services. Fortunately, most families will have some sort of assistance covering cremation service costs.
Funeral Insurance Benefits
Many people are completely unaware that funeral insurance exists. This very specific insurance plan is designed to cover funeral expenses. If your loved one had a policy in good standing at the time of their death you should qualify for benefits that cover most or all of the expenses.
Life Insurance Benefits for Cremation Expenses
One of the most common ways to pay for cremation services is with life insurance benefits. The payout received from these policies can be used to pay for any and all cremation expenses.
If you can’t find anything related to life insurance in the deceased’s personal files and records but find nothing, a policy could still exist. Check to see if the person had a life insurance policy through their work.
Medicaid Death Benefits
Medicaid is actually managed differently by each state. That means some states can opt to cover funeral expenses through Medicaid while others do not. You have to check the state where the deceased resided to determine if there are any potential Medicaid death benefits. There could also be assistance at the county level as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some states that offer death benefits will only grant funds if the family qualifies as having a financial need. What the benefits will cover also varies from state to state so make sure you know how much assistance is available before making arrangements.
Social Security Death Benefit
Medicaid might not provide any assistance for cremations and burials, but there is a little bit of help from Social Security. It’s not much but the $255 can help cover a portion of the cremation or pay for an urn. This one-time death benefit is part of the Social Security Survivors Benefits program.
There are a few stipulations. For example, the deceased had to have worked long enough to qualify for the one-time death benefit. The death also needs to be reported to the Social Security Administration by the funeral home or by calling a representative at 1-800-772-1213.
VA Benefits for Funerals
The families of veterans that qualify for VA benefits will get help paying for funeral services. It’s called VA burial benefits, but eligible surviving spouses can also receive money for cremations.
How much the family receives will depend on whether or not the deceased was on active duty when they died. After a service-related death the benefit amount is $2,000. For a non-service related death the benefit amount is $300. There are also state VA organizations that may provide additional death benefits.
Labor and Trade Union Benefits After Death
If the deceased belonged to a labor or trade union, death benefits may be included. The death benefits are typically awarded to the spouse or the individual’s children. And these benefits may apply even if the person was retired and no longer an active member of the union.
For more information about death benefits, contact the union directly. They should be able to explain if assistance is available and who receives the pay.
Local Charities and Nonprofits
Families may also be able to get financial assistance from local charities and nonprofits. While these aren’t formal benefits for cremation, it is money that can go directly toward the services without needing to be repaid. Every family should consider getting help from local organizations before putting cremation expenses on a credit card.
Funeral directors are a great resource for finding benefits that can help pay for cremation. If you have questions about getting financial assistance for cremation services you can give Direct Cremate a call, text or email anytime of day.