Medicaid/Public Assistance for Funerals

The Department of Human Services (DHS) helps those in need pay for funeral expenses. 

The Human Resources Administration (HRA) will provide financial assistance to individuals who need help covering funeral expenses. These funds are available when a resident of New York City dies who may have been in receipt of Supplement Security Income (SSI), Cash Assistance (CA), or leaves no funds to cover his or her burial expenses, and there are no Legally-Responsible Relatives (LRR) able to pay the funeral expenses. 

What Can be Covered

The HRA will pay up to $900 towards burial expenses, but total burial expenses must be no more than $1,700. The cost of cremation or grave and grave opening charges are excluded, however, the cost of burying the remains, after cremation is not excludable in calculating the $1,700 total cost. If the total funeral bill exceeds the amount of $1,700, HRA will make no payment. 

Assets that were available to the deceased or any amount that a LRR (e.g., a spouse or parent of a minor child) may have had on the Date of Death is deamed available, and any amount paid or to be paid by any other source, will be subtracted from the $900 payment if the claim is determined eligible for payment. Any assets left by the decedent on the date of death will be subtracted from the $900, if the claim is otherwise determined to be eligible. 

How to Apply

The individual who makes the funeral arrangements or his/her representative must file an application within 60 days from the date of death, in person, or at the HRA's office.