Hotline 4/12: funeral, burial


From the Hotline

If you have any questions on this column or other policy and procedural material, please have your Hotline
designee call the Policy Hotline at 617-348-8478.

Q. A funeral director has sent us a completed Application for Payment of Funeral and Final Disposition. The
application indicates that there was a bank account in the decedent’s name totaling $500. Is this
funeral director entitled to a benefit from DTA if the total cost of the funeral and burial is $3,500?

A. Yes. The Department can pay up to $1,100 for funeral and final disposition payments. As long as no
other financially responsible relatives have resources to be deducted, and all of the other
requirements for this benefit are met, the Department will make a payment of $600, which is the
funeral director’s remaining balance. See Field Operations Memo 2010-54 for more information.

Q. We received an Application for Payment of Funeral and Final Disposition from the parent of a deceased
nineteen-year-old. The application indicates that the parent had $3,000 in an IRA. This was the only
reported available resource. The bill attached to the application shows that the funeral and cremation
charges will total $4,200. Since the funeral director’s bill shows that the parents of the adult child have
already paid him $3,000 towards the funeral and cremation and since the Department can only pay up
to $1,100 after available resources are deducted, should I deny this application?

A. No. This nineteen-year-old has no financially responsible relatives. Parents are not financially
responsible for their adult children and this decedent was unmarried. If the decedent has no other
available assets and the decedent’s circumstances meet all of the other requirements at 106 CMR
705.700, then the full $1,100 payment may be approved.

Q. Is it always acceptable for the funeral director to complete the Application for Payment of Funeral and
Final Disposition?

A. No. The person completing the Application for Payment of Funeral and Final Disposition must be a spouse
or next of kin, unless none is available. (This information is printed on the application.) As long as the
next of kin is known, he or she should complete the application.

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