The Illinois Department of Human Services sometimes pays for state residents' burial and funeral expenses. It doesn't matter whether the deceased had life insurance. What matters is that she or her family didn't have enough money to pay for burial and funeral costs. This benefit is only available if the deceased received money from aid programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled. The maximum benefit at publication was $1,103 for the funeral and $552 for burial or cremation.
Who Can File
A funeral home, cemetery or individual who contributes some or all of the burial and funerals costs is eligible for reimbursement. The deceased's spouse or parents -- if the deceased is under 18 -- are ineligible. Anyone who received life insurance benefits from the deceased is ineligible as well, unless she spends more on death expenses than the received benefit. If two individuals both contribute, only one of them can be reimbursed. Reimbursement applications are available at the local Family Community Resource Center or online at the DHS website.
How to Get Paid
DHS accepts reimbursement requests after the money is spent, not before. The applicant uses the application form to list how much he spent on the funeral, burial or cremation. He also lists any death benefits, contributions from relatives or money from the deceased's estate that helped defray the costs. The applicant subtracts the extra money from his expenses. If DHS approves the claim, it will cover the rest of his costs up to the limit the law allows.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.