Funeral and Burial Resources for low-income and uninsured families

Funeral resources for low-income or uninsured

If you are in immediate need of the lowest cost funeral available, you need to consider arranging a simple direct cremation service.

Call your local DFS Memorials provider by selecting your state and then city from the state list, which is either to the right or below. 

DFS Memorials does NOT offer any financial assistance, but we can help you connect with a local, low-cost cremation or funeral provider, offering packages starting from $596.

With very limited financial resources and support offered by a state or county, you may find yourself faced with the stress of arranging a funeral with very little money.  If this is the case then you may need to consider arranging a simple, low-cost direct cremation service.

The DFS Memorials network offers direct cremation service packages at a very low cost.  Prices vary by state and city, but direct cremation prices start at $596.  Use the state links on this page to find your nearest provider and their direct cremation service price.

If you are faced with the task and responsibility of arranging a funeral for a family member who has just died, and you are concerned about how you can afford the cost of the funeral, this guide can hopefully support you.

Today 76% of Americans coping paycheck to paycheck (CNN) and 25% below the poverty line, so there are many families who find themselves in the unfortunate position of having either no funds, or very limited means, by which to pay for a funeral. Especially if the death of a family member was unexpected and sudden.

What low cost funeral alternatives are there?

If you find yourself responsible for making funeral arrangements with no life insurance or burial insurance policy to help cover the costs, and you have little means to pay for a funeral, then you need to seek out the lowest cost funeral option.

There are significant ways that you can save on the expected cost for a full funeral service.  And there are also various resources that may help you reduce your funeral costs, or help contribute towards the overall funeral expenses.

What is the cheapest funeral alternative?

Cremation is certainly a lot cheaper than a burial, and direct cremation (otherwise referred to as an immediate cremation or basic cremation) is the least expensive disposition method.

This is where the cremation is conducted with no viewing, services or ceremony and the cremated remains are immediately returned to the family.  A simple cardboard cremation container is used, and the ashes are returned in a temporary container, unless a cremation urn is selected.

You can arrange a direct cremation service in many areas of the United States for under $1,000, in fact in many metro areas the price can be as low as $500 – $700.  Check out your nearest DFS Memorials provider to find out the lowest direct cremation cost near you.

Is there Public Aid for a Funeral?

Whilst some states do provide some financial support with funeral expenses for families on low income, disability or SSI, this is NOT consistent across all states.  Budgets for public aid funerals have also unfortunately been cut back by municipalities where budget spend requiring constraining.

To find out if there is any financial support in your area, you would need to inquire with your local county human services or social services department.  I have noted below the states that DO offer some financial support and the links to further information.

What is Indigent Burial Assistance?

The state is, of course, obligated to attend to indigent dispositions.  That is generally for those unfortunates who become the responsibility of the state and/or institutionalized.  Traditionally the state would arrange simple pauper burials in a designated area of a municipal cemetery.  Today these indigent burial assistance programs tend to offer direct cremation as a low-cost solution to dispose of these unclaimed dead.

Are there any Social Security Death Benefits to help cover the cost of a funeral?

There is a $255 lump sum Social Security death benefit that those who qualify can claim.  A funeral director can generally assist you make a claim.  This one-off payment of $255 is made to a surviving spouse or child. Monthly benefits may be available if one meets eligibility requirements.  You can contact Social Security on 1-800-772-1213   www.socialsecurity.gov

Do Veteran’s receive benefits to assist with funeral costs?

A veteran is entitled to free burial in a national cemetery. This includes gravesite, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care for an honorably discharged veteran, spouse, or dependent child and a free headstone or grave marker.

Contact the Veteran’s Affairs Office on 1-800-827-1000 for more information.

Is there help for victims of crime to cover funeral expenses?

In each state, there is a fund set up to financially assist the victims of crime to cover funeral expenses.

Contact your local Crime Victim Compensation Program to find out what help you can get.

What about Funeral financing?

Whilst we do not advocate that anyone should have to incur a debt to pay for a funeral, this is sadly an option that is being peddled to many families today.  Of course, as with any other financing, you must pass the credit check requirements.

There are generally two ways funeral finance is offered – firstly a funeral home may work with a funeral loan company and offer your finance terms, or there are a few finance companies that will work directly with a family to finance a funeral.

Finance for a funeral is NOT easy to come by, largely as it is not an appealing product/service for a finance house to offer credit on.  Once a funeral is complete, there is quite a high chance of families defaulting on their loan and it is not that easy to repossess a corpse!

Help from Charity Organizations to pay for a funeral

There are some charitable trusts that make offer a grant or some financial help with funeral expenses.  You can check this resource for searching a charity grants database.

Help from Trade Union Organizations to cover funeral expenses

Some Trade Union organizations will offer a financial contribution to assist a former member, or the spouse of a member, some assistance with meeting funeral expenses.  If you, or you spouse, was a member of a union, it would be well worth investigating if you can claim any assistance.

cremation-helpHow Fund-raising can help pay for funeral expenses

Fund-raising events to help a family pay for a funeral have long been a community way to rally together and help an unfortunate family pay to bury their lost loved one.  However, as more families have suffered hardship in recent years, there has not been as much disposable money to go around, even when families want to help out.

There are now a few online fund-raiser web sites that will allow you to start a fund-raising campaign for a funeral.

Hopefully the advice we have briefly outlined in this article will provide useful resources to help you find some help paying for a funeral.

State Assistance:  Contact departments

CT – Dept of Social Services

DC – Dept of Human Services

MA – The Commonwealth of MA

MD – Dept of Human Resources

ME – ME General Assistance Program

NH – NH Welfare Dept

NJ – Dept of Human Services

NY – Human Resources Dept

PA – Dept of Public Welfare

RI – RI General Public Assistance

VA – Health & Human Services

VT – Agency of Human Services

WV – Dept of Health & Human Resources

Arranging an affordable funeral service in Atlanta

Direct cremation Atlanta GACan you afford to die?

The cost of dying in Georgia today is causing many families to have to explore different alternatives to the traditional funeral service.  A full traditional funeral service in Atlanta can cost as much as $10,000 when you add in all the costs for funeral merchandise and cemetery costs.

This can simply be more than many families can afford.  CNN Money reported this week that 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  Frightening isn’t it – to think that every day families in Atlanta are faced with the death of a loved one and NO resources to pay for funeral expenses!

A traditional funeral service in decline?

Burial is still a deep-seated tradition in Georgia but this is changing.  Cultural attitudes to death rituals and the significance of religious tradition is a part of this change.  But also, the cost is now playing a big factor in why people are changing their attitude towards funerals in Atlanta.

There are now more affordable funeral options for families and funeral homes in Atlanta who are catering to the demand for cheap funerals.  The price of caskets has come down since more online casket sellers emerged and especially since Walmart and CostCo starting selling them for under $1,000.

Our DFS Memorials provider for Atlanta offers families a complete affordable funeral service for $3,635, which includes a casket and all the basics of arranging a funeral service, with the exception of any cemetery costs.  This is dignified death care at a price you can afford.

Low-cost cremation in Atlanta

Georgia is still one of the 10 states with a lower cremation rate in the US, but the cremation trend is affecting Georgia too now.  A cremation works out much cheaper than a burial.  There are no costs for embalming, a casket, a vault or a cemetery plot – much reducing the overall spend on a funeral.

A basic, direct cremation can be arranged for $1,095 complete.  This does not involve any service, but a family can arrange their own service at their chapel or location of choice, once the cremated remains are returned to the family.

A direct cremation in Atlanta is by far the lowest cost funeral.  Even a cremation with a service will cost about a third of the cost of a traditional funeral.

If you need to save  money on your funeral expenses, then you need to look at what options are available in Atlanta that can help you arrange a funeral at an affordable cost.

Low cost funerals in Athens, Atlanta Metro, Columbus, Dalton & Gainesville and the counties of Fulton, Clayton, Fayette, Carroll, Paulding, Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnet, Rockdale, De Kalb, Walton, Henry, Newton, Oconee, Barrow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Harris, Talbot,  and Dawson.

Affordable funeral or cremation in Biloxi, MS – $995

A funeral need not cost you an arm and a leg!  Although a traditional funeral can run into cost of thousands of dollars – there are more affordable options.  This article explores low cost cremation alternatives and how to find an affordable funeral services provider.

What is the average cost of a funeral in Biloxi?

direct cremation in Biloxi MSThe National Funeral Directors Association’s nationwide survey of 2012 evaluated the average cost of a traditional funeral at $7,045, without any cemetery costs.

This means that the average funeral costs in total can run to around $10,000 with burial vault and grave plot.  This is just an average figure and a funeral can cost you more, or less, than this depending upon the funeral service provider and the funeral merchandise you select.  A casket is one of the largest expenses of a funeral, and the cost of a casket can range from $995 to $9,000.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Biloxi?

Cremation can offer a much cheaper alternative to a full traditional burial.  A cremation eliminates the need for a casket, possibly embalming, and the cemetery charges.  How much a cremation service will cost largely depends upon the type of service you select.  A cremation with a service beforehand (very similar to a traditional funeral service) will cost in the region of $3,000 – $6,000.  Again much depends upon whether you purchase or rent a casket and how elaborate a service is held.

Different Cremation Packages

There are other, and generally more affordable, cremation options.  A cremation memorial service is where the cremation is performed and a service is held afterwards, either with, or without, the cremated remains present.  There are also options such as a private family farewell cremation.  This is where the funeral home facilitates the opportunity for close family to have visitation with the deceased prior to the cremation.  The cheapest cremation option is a direct cremation.

Direct cremation in Biloxi

A direct cremation is sometimes referred to as an immediate cremation.  It simply means that a cremation is carried out immediately and with no services at all.  It is the most affordable way that a family can conduct a disposition.  Once the family has the cremated remains returned (usually with a few days), a memorial service, or ash scattering ceremony can be held.  A direct cremation allows family to take care of the process of the cremation at a minimal cost.  Memorial services can be organized by the family and/or church and held at a location of the family’s choice.  A direct cremation can cost between $995 and $2,895, depending on the funeral home selected.

How do I choose a cremation provider in Biloxi?

Choosing a funeral or cremation provider is not always an easy task.  As we have outlined above, the range of services and prices for funeral and cremations, can vary considerably between providers.  It is essential to be aware of this, and to consider shopping around to compare cremation packages from more than one funeral home, to ensure the cremation services provider you select can meet the needs of your family.

How can you save money by arranging a cremation?

A cremation will generally save you around 40 – 50% on the cost of a traditional burial.  But you can also save further by considering a direct cremation and coordinating your own memorial services.  Your church and other support networks may assist you with this.  It is possible to make your own memorial products for a service, which can save you further expenditure.

Low cost cremation in Biloxi

If you are interested in a low cost cremation in Biloxi, we would suggest you may wish to contact the DFS memorial provider.  They cover the Gulf Coast region from Bay St. Louis through to Pascagoula / Moss Point.

We can’t afford a funeral.  Is there any help with cremation costs in Biloxi?

cremation-costs-biloxi-gulf-coastSadly more families than ever are finding themselves struggling to make ends meet, and unexpected funeral expenses can be a crisis!  If the deceased had made no provision for his/her funeral costs, then the responsibility falls to the next of kin.  Limited financial assistance is available.  There is the $255 Social Security death benefit (if qualifying), and veterans are entitled to some benefits.  Failing that it is largely down to the family to raise the funds to cover disposition arrangements.

Each state does have its own budget to cover indigent burials but this is now almost entirely allocated to covering the costs only for those who become a responsibility of the state.  Sometimes there is some public aid and you would need to make inquiries to your local county Social Services.  There are also union, faith and charity groups that support the bereaved with funeral expenses.  You can read further in this article ‘What are your options on how to pay for a funeral or cremation?’.

Serving families in George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Stone Counties and throughout Long Beach, Mississippi City, Handsboro, Beauvoir, St. Martin, D’Iberville, Ocean Springs, Gulf Hills, Cedar Lake, Wool Market, Popps Ferry Rd, Saint Martin, W Gay Rd N / Whetston, Van Buren Ave, Pass Rd / Fernwood Rd, Irish Hill Dr, Rodenberg Ave / Pass Rd.

13+ Things that a Funeral Director Won’t Tell You

This neat slideshow from Michelle Crouch on Reader’s Digest gives us the low-down on some of the money-saving aspects of arranging a funeral.  Aspects that the funeral director may not always willingly divulge!

13+ Things That Can Save You Money on a Funeral

Service Corporation International (SCI) and their Low Cost Brands

Service Corporation International (SCI) is the largest corporate chain of funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries in North America.  They operate over 1,800 funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries and memorial gardens and trade under various trading names.  SCI’s dominance in the death care industry has mainly been due to a large-scale acquisition process, and in many cases they retained the original funeral company names.

In addition to their main Dignity Memorial brand, SCI also trades under the name Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services.  Advantage is marketed as “an affordable, simple and economical alternative to traditional funeral homes”.  According to their web site, they have 19 locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

National Cremation Society (NCS) , Neptune Society and the Trident Society, are also all SCI brands promoting themselves as local providers of direct, affordable or low cost cremations.

Started in 1973, the National Cremation Society has 24 locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Texas and Virginia.  Their claim is to offer families a simple and affordable cremation service, however in some areas they are competing with other SCI brands also offering simple and affordable low-cost cremations.

There is one commonality about all SCI’s affordable cremation brands – and that is that they DO NOT disclose any prices on their websites, or in their advertising, not really making it very easy to work out just how affordable they are!

Price disclosure is something the funeral industry in general has just not got its head around, however this is certainly an area where local companies offering a low-cost cremation can clearly gain an advantage over corporate companies.  Families searching online for an affordable cremation want to know one thing.  How much does it cost?