Financial Assistance

Help for those needing financial assistance...

We encourage you to speak openly about any financial hardship you are experiencing.  We take pride in serving all who call our firm, including those with financial difficulties. We work closely with county Departments of Human Services, victim’s and workers’ compensation departments, the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security and other potential sources of funding. We can make suggestions to keep your costs low. Still, we understand that there are those who need to arrange a payment plan through their local bank or credit union or may need a cost reduction in order for their needs to be met, and we are here to help. No one has ever been turned away for lack of money. Below are some of the benefits that may be available.

Social Security

Currently, if the deceased was married at the time of death, a lump sum death benefit of $255 is payable to the eligible surviving spouse from Social Security. We will assist you in starting the process of claiming benefits. Additional monthly benefits may be available for a spouse over the age of 60, minor children under the age of 18, and other certain special circumstances.

Veterans

If the deceased was a honorably-discharged veteran, several additional benefits may be available including burial in a national cemetery with the grave, opening and closing fees and marker (headstone) provided at no cost. Should an indigent veteran die in a V.A. Medical Center (including the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans) it is our policy to provide either an immediate cremation or a simple burial at the nearest national cemetery for whatever benefits are available—with no additional cost to the family. Other benefits may be available depending on the veteran’s service.

County Welfare

Currently, for eligible Medicaid or Department of Human Services (DHS) clients, welfare assistance of up to $700 may be available ($455 payable to the funeral home, $145 payable to the cemetery/crematory, and $100 available for the outer burial container/vault). The family is permitted to supplement up to $4000 towards any remaining balance. You must apply in person for “Emergency Burial Assistance” at your county DHS office, and provide supporting financial records. Only a DHS specialist can accurately determine your family’s eligibility for this program. We regret that due to the uncertainty of eligibility, we cannot schedule any services until receiving a decision notice from your caseworker, as well as any required co-payment or supplement. Further, due to the instability of the State of Michigan budget, this program may be discontinued at any time.