Information and Resources
Social Security Death Benefits. There is a one-time $255 Social Security death benefit available to the spouse or dependent children of the deceased. Social Security also provides Survivor Benefits.
Veteran Death Benefits. An amount not to exceed $200 in burial and funeral expenses is available to survivors of veterans who are receiving a pension or compensation for military service or who died in a veteran's hospital. Burial is provided for most veterans in a national cemetery, if space is available. In addition, $150 is available for cemetery costs in other than a state or national cemetery. An amount not to exceed $15,000 is reimbursed for a service-connected death. An American flag is given for most veterans. Benefits can be applied for any time within two years after the death. To apply call (800) 827-2013. See the FCA brochure
The Estate of the Deceased
Look for checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, payable-on-death bank accounts, investments, insurance policies should be located. Seek receipts from a cemetery or funeral home in case the decedent has pre-purchased property or a funeral trust or insurance.
Churches and Ethnic Heritage Organizations
Those who were attached to a church, a heritage group, or a beneficial association may receive some financial relief from these sources. Religious cemeteries will furnish plots to poor parishioners with the recommendation of parish priests or rabbis. Some forbid erecting a marker unless the plot is paid for, however. Many churches have pastors or funeral committees who will aid families through this stressful time, offering experienced advice and helping hands.
Unions, Fraternal or Membership Organizations
Check if there are death benefits or insurance policies from these sources.
Indigents will be cremated at county expense if relative(s) show an inability to pay for the body disposition. Call the County Administrator for details.
Sudden Infant Death Assistance
SIDS Alliance of Northern California
1547 Palos Verdes Mall, #301, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Toll Free (California): 877.938.7437
The SIDS Alliance of Northern California has a burial expense assistance program available for Northern California families who have had an infant die from Sudden Infant Death. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Willed Body Programs. See our information about Body and Organ Donation. Stanford pays for pickup of the body; UCSF will charge for pickup. (Note that the deceased must already have made arrangements for body donation in order for this to be an option). Victims of Crime assistance through the District Attorney's office of your county. If the deceased died as a result of criminal action, the family may be entitled to reimbursement of the funeral and some other expenses from the state of California. Ask the coroner or your county’s District Attorney if you think you qualify. See San Mateo County DA and click on Victim Services, or Santa Clara County DA. The State of California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board states: "The Board, under most circumstances, may pay up to $7,500 for the funeral, burial or memorial service of a deceased victim after other available sources of payment, if any, have been applied." A general outline is provided of what they can and cannot pay for on their website: http://www.boc.ca.gov/providers/funeral.aspx