Government grants for funeral expenses

Updated March 23, 2017

In the United State, the average cost of funeral arrangements is £4,225 per person for a traditional burial. The average cost of a non-buried cremation is £975. This includes everything from body removal to body preparation, casket and burial vault purchases, to headstones and cemetery property. Many people today are not prepared for the high cost of funerals nor the fact that most funeral homes require payment within thirty days of the service. Depending on the situation, there are government grants available for funeral expenses.

Veterans Grants

The federal government offers several grants and benefits for veterans. The first benefit is a free space at any national military cemetery such as Arlington National Cemetery. If a person chooses to be buried in a traditional cemetery, the government will award up to £195 towards the cost of a burial space. The federal government also supplies a free military headstone to all veterans and only charges a small fee to add a spouses name to the burial marker. Veterans may also have the option to receive funding towards cremation, burial vaults and casket expenses through the local Veterans Association via the federal government. Any veteran that has been honourably discharged can apply for this government grant.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue NW Washington, DC 20420 (800) 827- 1000

Grants for Low Income Families

If a family owns no property, such as a house or car, and is receiving payments from disability, the Department of Social Services or other government programs at the time of death; they are eligible for government grants towards funeral expenses. For those that meet these standards, the government will fund 100% of funeral expenses; however, the family is only given limited choices on which services and merchandise they can choose from. If a family chooses to make up the difference and choose a higher end casket, urn or burial vault, then the government will fund up to £390 towards a casket or urn and £260 towards a burial vault. The government will also fund the full amount of a flat bronze burial maker and the total cost of a cemetery plot at a qualifying local cemetery.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 200 Independence Avenue SW Washington, D.C. 20201 (877) 696- 6775

Government Loan Grants

The government offers an alternative for any family that is having difficulty paying the high cost of a funeral called a government loan grant. This type of loan is given to anyone who can provide a certificate of death for a person and that they are responsible for the cost of the funeral arrangements. The person who applies does not have to offer any form of security for this loan grant but does need to show proof that they are unable to afford the expenses. The government will verify that the deceased person has not already pre-arranged a funeral before awarding any money. For those that qualify, the government will award up to £1,300 towards funeral expenses. This is an adequate amount for a low end funeral or cremation. Any outstanding balance is the responsibility of the next of kin to pay to the funeral home. This loan grant must be repaid overtime but will not accumulate interest.

U.S. General Services Administration 1800 F Street NW Washington, DC 20405 (800) 333- 4636

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