When a relative or a loved one dies, we are often left with questions like: How are we going to pay for the funeral? Does Medicaid pay for funerals? Such situations are very hard to deal with, but it is nothing to be ashamed of as it is a problem faced by many people. Funerals in the United States are generally very expensive and most of time the family finances have already been depleted due to the medical care expenses by that time. The following are some tips that can help you when requesting for funeral assistance.

Does Medicaid Pay for Funerals?

The answer to the question "does Medicaid pay for funerals" or cremation is "no, it does not". However, it does offer you the chance to reserve money for your own burial and funeral. This money is separate and is excluded from the assets that Medicaid examines when determining whether you are eligible for medical coverage or not. This means that Medicaid won’t count your burial plot’s value when counting up your assets. Moreover, Medicaid permits reservation of money for burial and funeral expenses too in a separate account. You can also opt for a prepaid funeral plan as well whose value is not counted by Medicaid while evaluating your eligibility.

You can set aside an amount of up to $1,500 in a burial/funeral account, however, each state has different rules and amount limitations in this regard. You can either call the Eldercare Locator toll-free number at 800-677-1116 or do an internet search, like visiting the Medicaid website, along with the name of your sate to find about the dollar limits and rules for funeral/burial account in your state.

Other Ways of Paying for a Funeral

Since you get a negative answer to the question "does Medicaid pay for funerals", you might feel really helpless. Be positive, there are other ways to help you out and give your loved one a decent farewell.

Social Security

Does social security pay for funeral costs? Yes, it does; however, you are required to immediately notify Social Security about the death. You can give permission to the funeral director to contact the Social Security on your behalf too, but make sure that the social security number he uses for making the report is the correct one.

Social Security benefits available after death of a loved one include a one-time payment of $255 offered to the child or spouse of the deceased for funeral expenses. What's more, there are also monthly benefits up to half the Social Security amount received by the deceased during his/her lifetime. Such funds are only offered to the remaining spouse who is over 60, over 50 and disabled, is caring for the deceased's underage or disabled child, to the parents of the deceased who are over 62 and to the surviving children who are under 18 or are disable.

With all the information above, you must know the answer to "does social security pay for cremation". Although there is no such specific fund, other payment from Social Security may help you out.


Veteran's Benefits

Since the answers to "does medicaid pay for funerals" and "does social security pay for funeral costs" are not that satisfying. Here is another way out. 

Long-term pensions and immediate burial assistance are the 2 forms of veteran benefits. All U.S. veterans who died in non-service-related situation are offered burial assistance. Depending on the death location, the deceased can be buried in local state cemeteries or even in one of the national cemeteries. You will have to pay for the body preparation, cremation and funeral costs, while the headstone and grave site will be issued by the government.

You might also be eligible to receive an amount of around $300 for funeral costs and an extra $300 for a burial plot outside a VA cemetery if the deceased was receiving a veteran’s pension at the time of death or if he/she died in a VA hospital. The long-term pensions offered through the VA are not that simple; however, they might offer burial benefits to the spouse, children and parents of the deceased veteran among other benefits.


Preplan the Funeral

Instead of worrying about "does social security pay for funeral costs" or "does social security pay for cremation" and making everything in a rush, You can make well-informed and wise choices when making decisions regarding funeral items like outer burial chambers, caskets , cremation and more if you are not in emotional distress.

Remember to include outside vendor expenses billed through the funeral home and the itemized breakdown of funeral home costs in your estimated funeral budget. The costs for clergy honorarium, music, newspaper notification and flowers will all be included in this. Don’t sign any contracts with the funeral home until you have reviewed and approved all of these expenses.

You can pay for the preplanned funerals in advance in the form of installments. You can use check, cash, credit card or money order to make these payments.


Use Life Insurance Policy

Stay in touch with your local insurance agent to make sure that your insurance cover is sufficient enough for your funeral expenses. This applies not only to you but also to any family members that you are responsible for. Also discuss the timing and the payout procedure with your agent so that you know when the money from the life insurance policy will become available for making funeral payments.


Call the Funeral Directors

Funeral directors can be of massive help in finding benefit sources as they have to deal with such issues on a daily basis. So, it is best to find out the numbers of at least three funeral homes located in your area from the Yellow Pages and call them to ask about the benefit sources available in your locality. Remember to discuss low-cost funeral options with all the funeral homes you call. You can learn about additional options with this initial screening which might have been missed if you have just called a single funeral home. You will find a number of options available to you that you have to itemize as line items on a price sheet since it is a requirement of the law in each state.


Ask the Social Workers

Don't be frustrated by the unsatisfactory answers to "does medicaid pay for funerals". Besides, if all the above mentioned methods are still not enough, you still can ask social workers to help you out.

Social work services from multiple agencies might be utilized for this purpose. Social workers can help you by guiding you about useful resources and making referrals to local institutions that might be of help to you. There might be a social worker available if the deceased was on public assistance. Do keep in mind that social workers can only point you towards the resources so that you can get them on your own as they can’t provide the resources themselves.


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