Most Americans don’t have access to Medicaid funeral assistance, though four states do offer burial or cremation expense assistance for citizens and consider Medicaid enrollment in eligibility. These include:
Medicaid was established to provide medical assistance for eligible groups, including seniors, people with disabilities, and children requiring long-term care. While it’s a federal program, each state directs its own Medicaid program, so eligibility and assistance vary and change frequently with legislation.
This makes it difficult to track which states provide funeral assistance for Medicaid recipients, so double-check current laws with your state’s website. Otherwise, explore which states offer state-level assistance and Medicaid benefits for funeral, burial, or cremation costs below.
Medicaid Death Benefits By State
State legislators determine Medicaid fund allocation, so state programs can change frequently and vary drastically. This can make it tough to determine what benefits are available when you need them, so we created this guide for state funeral assistance for Medicaid recipients and residents.
This chart is a helpful tool to find potential benefits, but you should always confirm programs with your state’s website or Department of Human Services since laws are updated frequently.
|State||Medicaid Funeral Assistance (2023)||State Funeral Assistance (2023)|
|Alaska||No||Yes — General Relief Assistance|
|Colorado||Yes||Yes — Burial Assistance Program|
|Connecticut||No||Yes — Department of Social Services|
|Hawaii||No||Yes — MedQuest|
|Illinois||No||Yes — Funeral and Burial Benefits|
|Maine||No||Yes — General Assistance|
|Maryland||No||Yes — Burial Assistance|
|Massachusetts||No||Yes — Funeral and Burial Payment Assistance|
|Michigan||No||Yes — Burial Services|
|New Mexico||No||Yes — Burial Assistance|
|Pennsylvania||No||Yes — Burial and Cremation Services Payment|
|Rhode Island||No||Yes — Financial Assistance with Burial Expense|
|Vermont||No||Yes — General Assistance|
|West Virginia||No||Yes — Burial Assistance|
|Wyoming||Yes||Yes — Medical Assistance|
While most states don’t have state-level assistance for residents, many do mandate burial assistance at the county or city level. Contact your county government to determine what resources are available for your family.
Typically, the state offers a set dollar amount benefit to cover various end-of-life services, including cremation or burial. Families can apply for this benefit, and the state will pay directly to the service provider. Most states don’t pay out to the family.
In addition to state and county assistance, all states offer victim compensation for crime victims to cover costs for medical, mental health, or funeral services and wage assistance. State programs are managed independently, so visit your state’s website to learn more.
How To Get Medicaid Funeral Assistance
Applying for Medicaid funeral assistance follows a different procedure in each state, so you’ll need to contact a local office to confirm eligibility and application details. Below are some initial steps to help you get started.
- Visit your state’s website and find the burial assistance program page to confirm eligibility:
- Explore available funds, including life insurance policies, savings accounts, Social Security Administration survivor benefits, and other assets. Most state programs assist individuals without other payment options.
- Consult your funeral service provider for additional resources and payment information. Many states also pay benefits directly to the provider rather than the family, so arranging services ahead of time is good.
- Contact your county health and human services department to learn more about local assistance and state applications.
- Apply for assistance via your county or state program process.
Other Final Expense Resources
Funerals averaged $9,420 in 2023, while direct burials cost $2,597. That’s a huge expense that can cause financial hardship for many families. If your state or county doesn’t provide burial assistance, below are some additional resources to help cover final expense costs:
- Social Security death payment: for surviving spouses
- FEMA Disaster Relief: for disaster survivors
- Final Farewell: for children
- VA Burial Benefits: for military service members and veterans
- Religious organizations
- City and county governments
- Victim’s assistance
Personal Finance Resources
- Prepaid funerals
- Funeral loans
- Payable on death accounts
- Cash savings
- Life insurance
- Final expense insurance
Get Peace Of Mind With Final Expense Insurance
Funeral services and burials are costly, but there are resources available to assist families during this difficult time. Some states provide county-level aid or offer Medicaid funeral assistance, and several federal and local nonprofits are available for grief and financial support.
Families can also plan ahead with a burial insurance policy to cover funeral costs. These life insurance policies are available at almost any age without a medical exam so that you can give your family a final gift of peace of mind.
If you need burial insurance on Medicaid, be sure to work with an experienced insurance agent who can ensure the policy doesn’t interfere with Medicaid eligibility rules.