Assess your eligibility for funeral benefits

Organize a Funeral

Funeral benefits are funds allocated to helping a surviving family pay for end-of-life expenses.

These benefits may be able to pay for funeral costs such as transportation, burial, cemeteries, cremation, and events.

Often, life insurance policies will include funeral benefit provisions. But funeral benefits are not only provided by insurance companies.

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know Depending upon the circumstances of the deceased, or the death, the surviving family may be eligible to receive funeral benefits from a variety of other sources.

Check to see if there are any funeral benefits available by reviewing the items below.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information on all types of death benefits, see the "Review benefits and compensation" section of the Guide.

Helpful Tips


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps provide disaster relief to the surviving family with certain funeral benefits.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA will provide up to $9,000 for expenses related to the funeral of a deceased person who died from COVID-19.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More Review FEMA's eligibility requirements and learn how to apply for benefits in the "COVID-19 and natural disaster death benefits" section of the Guide.


The surviving family of a service member who died in the line of duty, or who died from a service-related injury or illness, may be eligible for funeral benefits from a number of veterans programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Additionally, all honorably discharged veterans and their surviving families are eligible for a number of funeral benefits.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More Read more about funeral benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs in the "Request veterans benefits" section of the Guide.


A surviving family may be entitled to additional death benefits from a variety of sources.

In order to ensure that nothing is missed, it's best to review all possible circumstances in which benefits may be available.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More See what's possible in the "Review additional death benefits opportunities" section of the Guide.

Personal Considerations


Did the deceased have funeral benefits through their employer?


Notify the provider about the death and submit an official claim to receive the benefits.

Funeral benefits may also be part of a life insurance policy or other employee benefit.

Review these policies for more information. However, if these documents cannot be found, contact the employer for more information.

It may also be in your best interest to speak with the employer about any additional wages or vacation time owed to the deceased.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information about employer compensation, see the "Collect final wages and additional compensation" section of the Guide.


It may be in the surviving family's best interest to confirm that no unknown, active policies are in place.

Search the deceased's property and any important files stored in and outside the home, like a safe or safe deposit box.

Contact the employer, financial advisor, estate planning lawyer, or other professional who might have helped the deceased obtain a policy.


If the deceased had funeral benefits through their employer:

Notify the provider about the death and submit an official claim to receive the benefits.

Funeral benefits may also be part of a life insurance policy or other employee benefit.

Review these policies for more information. However, if these documents cannot be found, contact the employer for more information.

It may also be in your best interest to speak with the employer about any additional wages or vacation time owed to the deceased.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information about employer compensation, see the "Collect final wages and additional compensation" section of the Guide.

If the deceased did not have funeral benefits through their employer:

It may be in the surviving family's best interest to confirm that no unknown, active policies are in place.

Search the deceased's property and any important files stored in and outside the home, like a safe or safe deposit box.

Contact the employer, financial advisor, estate planning lawyer, or other professional who might have helped the deceased obtain a policy.


Was the death the result of a work-related incident?


Contact the employer, file a claim with the provider, and consult with a wrongful death or workers' compensation attorney to help navigate the situation.

The surviving family may be entitled to many types of benefits, including funeral benefits, through the employer's workers’ compensation insurance policy.

These are death benefits that apply when someone sustains a work-related injury or illness that ends in death.

Each insurance company, state, and policy has its own rules around this, but most often these benefits will cover funeral expenses. This is in addition to general financial support for medical and legal expenses for the surviving family.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant The amount of money provided depends on state law and the details of the policy, so it's important to speak with the employer, the insurance provider, and an attorney to evaluate next steps.

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know If there are no surviving or eligible family members, these death benefits will most likely go to the deceased’s estate. For more information about managing this money, see the "Settle the estate" section of the Guide.


Review the other questions in this section to evaluate potential funeral benefits.


If the death was the result of a work-related incident:

Contact the employer, file a claim with the provider, and consult with a wrongful death or workers' compensation attorney to help navigate the situation.

The surviving family may be entitled to many types of benefits, including funeral benefits, through the employer's workers’ compensation insurance policy.

These are death benefits that apply when someone sustains a work-related injury or illness that ends in death.

Each insurance company, state, and policy has its own rules around this, but most often these benefits will cover funeral expenses. This is in addition to general financial support for medical and legal expenses for the surviving family.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant The amount of money provided depends on state law and the details of the policy, so it's important to speak with the employer, the insurance provider, and an attorney to evaluate next steps.

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know If there are no surviving or eligible family members, these death benefits will most likely go to the deceased’s estate. For more information about managing this money, see the "Settle the estate" section of the Guide.

If the death was not the result of a work-related incident:

Review the other questions in this section to evaluate potential funeral benefits.


Was the deceased a low-income individual?


Check with local or state government to see what types of public assistance or social services may be available.

Each county or locality has their own provisions about what is covered and what is considered “low-income,” so review local laws before applying.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Typically, these funds only support simple funeral events, products and services, and cannot be applied to any other costs related to the deceased's passing, such as medical and legal expenses.

Public funeral assistance programs near you


There still may be benefits available to the surviving family based on their circumstances and the circumstances of the death.

Review other questions in this section for more possibilities to receive funeral benefits.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information about how to save money on a funeral, see the "Review ways to receive funding for a funeral" section of the Guide.


If the deceased was a low-income individual:

Check with local or state government to see what types of public assistance or social services may be available.

Each county or locality has their own provisions about what is covered and what is considered “low-income,” so review local laws before applying.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Typically, these funds only support simple funeral events, products and services, and cannot be applied to any other costs related to the deceased's passing, such as medical and legal expenses.

Public funeral assistance programs near you

If the deceased was not a low-income individual:

There still may be benefits available to the surviving family based on their circumstances and the circumstances of the death.

Review other questions in this section for more possibilities to receive funeral benefits.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More For more information about how to save money on a funeral, see the "Review ways to receive funding for a funeral" section of the Guide.

Actions to Take


Public funeral assistance programs near you

Providers to Contact


Probate Attorneys Near You

Probate attorneys can help you determine if the deceased was eligible for any funeral benefits. They help settle a deceased person’s estate.

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Wrongful Death Attorneys Near You

Wrongful death attorneys can help families get compensation for the death of a loved one caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. They can help you understand your legal rights and options and help navigate the process of filing a wrongful death claim.

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Organize a Funeral