You do not want to add to the stress of unmanageable funeral, burial, or cremation costs.
If you cannot afford, or have very little funds to bury your loved one, find out if he/she may be eligible for assistance from the following:
Most churches have benevolent missions set up to provide families with burial assistance. You may want to contact your church or local churches in your area.
A non-profit organization developed to assist families with the funeral, burial, and/or cremation of deceased loved ones.
If your family member was a victim of a homicide you may be eligible for burial assistance. Most states in the United States provide this type of program. For more information, in Texas, dial toll free (800) 983-9933 . Outside of Texas, check with your state’s Criminal Justice Office.
If your child was receiving benefits from social services, or any type of governmental services, contact your child’s caseworker to apply for burial benefits. Financial awards for burials may differ in each county in Texas.
Be sure to check with your employer regarding family death benefits. You and your family may be covered under a death benefit policy.
If you or your spouse are, or were, members of a local union, inquire regarding available death benefits.
Each county in Texas has an indigent burial program to meet the needs of individuals with no funds to pay burial cost. However, this process may eliminate your ability to determine how, when, and where, your loved one is buried.
FEMA is able to provide burial assistance when someone dies during the course of a national disaster (as declared by the President). This could be someone who died as a direct result of a disaster or as an indirect result.
For example, someone who drowned during a hurricane would be considered a direct victim of the national disaster. Someone who died because a power outage during the hurricane prevented them from being able to use their oxygen machine would be an indirect victim. FEMA funds are generally only available as a last resort, but they do cover a casket or urn for burial, a burial plot, and a marker or headstone. FEMA also has a program for those who passed away due to Covid-19 complications.
The Social Security Administration offers a one-time death settlement in the amount of $255 to the spouse or children of someone who has died. While this isn’t enough to cover a funeral, it can help offset some other costs.
If the deceased was of retirement age, his or her spouse or children may be eligible to collect survivors’ benefits. Those benefits could additionally help with funeral costs.
The VA depending on several factors. Let’s say a veteran dies in a way that is not related to military service. The VA will still provide $780 for burial costs. If the death was service-related, offers a variety of funeral assistance levels, the VA provides up to $2,000 in funeral assistance.
Their spouses may receive an additional payout if their partner was killed during service-related duties. This also includes a veteran dying of injuries or illnesses sustained during service, even if they are no longer active.
There are other benefits available for veterans, too. Veterans buried in a national cemetery will have the opening and closing of the grave covered by the VA. The VA will also provide a gravestone and a burial flag for the veteran’s next of kin.
Before contracting with a funeral home, make a few quick calls to compare prices. One funeral home may have a basic burial plan priced at $4,000, while across town the price could be $2,500. Identify three or four funeral homes to contact. Be sure to ask if the price includes a burial, plot, and open and closing of the grave. These items could add several hundreds of dollars to the base funeral cost. Make sure you understand all of the additional cost including programs, use of chapel, transportation of family, police escort, viewing hours, slide-shows, flowers, and other specialized features.
Select services that will honor your loss and your resources. A fully optioned funeral can cost approximately $4,500 – $8,000.Remember that your loved one wants you to have peace which is difficult if you over extend yourself and your resources. Consider all of your options. Make the decision that is right for your loved one and your family as you move forward. Below are descriptions of services you may consider. Consult with your funeral director.
The deceased person is interred quickly, and without a public viewing. Unless state requires, there is no need for embalming, cosmetic, or funeral services.
Like direct burial, the deceased person is quickly cremated, and without a public viewing.
The deceased body is not embalmed, only refrigeration or dry ice is used to preserve the body. The body is placed in a casket made of renewable, biodegradable material, or wrapped in a shroud of biodegradable fibers such as linen or cotton. Bodies are place directly in the earth. Gradually, the body returns to the earth in a natural progression.
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