Help Paying for a Funeral With No Insurance

by Lane Cummings

Organizing the funeral and burial arrangements for a deceased loved one can be heart-wrenching enough as it is without the added anxiety of how to pay for all the added expenses. Thankfully, you may have more options and possibilities than you think.

Gradual Payment

Certain funeral homes allow you to make a small payment every month, one which fits into your budget. In this manner, they allow you to finish paying for a funeral after a span of years. If none of the funeral homes in your area offers such plans, consider contacting your bank for a small loan, which you can pay off over time.

Government Help

The Social Security Administration offers a special lump sum of $255 to assist with funeral costs. They give the payment only to the surviving spouse, if she was living in the same household as the deceased, or minor children who received or were eligible to receive benefits while the deceased was working. Call 1-800-772-1213 if you think you could be eligible.


If the deceased was a veteran, regardless of whether the death was service-related, you should receive some financial help from the government to cover a portion of the funeral expenses. This help for veterans usually comes in the form of reimbursement for funeral expenses. Visit the Veteran's Administration website at www.va.gov/vaforms/ and download VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. Attach a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate and funeral and burial bills.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

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