The following represents all FCAME is aware of with regard to financial resources available for help with funeral expenses. Please note that FCAME itself has no resources to provide any financial support for funerals, nor does it have any arrangements with any funeral services providers to provide any discounts to its members.
Service members and veterans may qualify for various burial benefits and memorial items. These may include a gravesite in a national cemetery with available space; opening and closing of the grave; a burial liner provided by the government; a simple Government headstone; a burial flag; and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
Other government benefits:
- The Railroad Board, a government agency, may pay a modest lump-sum death benefit to help defray funeral expenses for railroad employees or retirees.
- There is a one-time $255 lump sum Social Security survivor’s benefit paid to an eligible spouse or to one child, if there is no surviving spouse, which may help with funeral expenses. Call 1-800-772-1213 to notify the SSA after the death. Review the Social Security website for more information about survivor benefits. This is usually done by the funeral director.
Options for people with little or no financial resources
- In DC, the Department of Human Services offers a Burial Assistance Program that provides modest financial assistance toward the funeral expenses of indigent residents whose income and assets qualify. The burial or cremation must be arranged through a contract funeral home.
- In Maryland, the Department of Human Services offers a Maryland state burial assistance program which provides limited financial help with funeral expenses of deceased recipients of Public Assistance programs when their families cannot afford funeral costs.
- In Delaware, the Delaware Division of Social Services offers limited assistance (he latest information available as of July 2022 is $400 to $1500) toward burial in a state pauper cemetery for the truly indigent whose families cannot afford burial
Contact: Department of Health and Social Services
1901 N. DuPont Highway
New Castle, Delaware 19
Every state has a crime victim compensation program which may provide substantial assistance to crime victims and their families. Visit the state website to determine eligibility and benefits offered.
- Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
- Delaware Department of Justice, Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program
- District of Columbia Crime Victims Compensation Program
Jewish resources: The Hebrew Free Burial Society The Hebrew Free Burial Society takes care of burial arrangements for indigent Jews who cannot afford a traditional Jewish funeral. They also perform ritual washing of the body. The Jewish Chaplaincy Service of JSSA (the Jewish Social Service Agency) provides Rabbinic coverage for these funerals, which are conducted at the Chesed Shel Emes cemetery in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Phone: 301-762-2825, as of July 2022.