Burial Assistance

Burial Assistance

To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule:

  • Increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400.
  • Extending the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual's death.

Applications received on or after March 12, 2020 will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status.

New: View the Burial Assistance Frequently Asked Questions in:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our office hours are limited, we are open to the public on Wednesdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, many HRA locations are consolidating until further notice. If your needs cannot be met by ACCESS HRA, call 311 or consult the HRA Locations page for more information.

Contact the NYC HRA Office of Burial Services

Our office is now located at:
33-28 Northern Blvd. - 3rd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101

You can call us at:
929-252-7731

Please leave a message and an OBS staff member will return your call before the end of the next business day.

Burial Allowance Application M-860W

View the Application for Burial Allowance.

You can also view the Burial Allowance Application form in:

View the Instructions for the Burial Allowance Application form in:

Learn more about the application process below.

Ways to apply

In-Person or Mail

NYC HRA Office of Burial Services
33-28 Northern Blvd. - 3rd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101

Fax

The application can be faxed to 917-639-0476

Email

The application can be emailed to BurialServices@hra.nyc.gov

Call us at 929-252-7731 if you need a copy of the application and we will mail or email you an application. If you need assistance with completing the on-line application, give us a call.

Burial Allowance Application Process

Background

The Human Resources Administration (HRA), Office of Burial Services (OBS) assists individuals in need of financial assistance to meet funeral expenses for a deceased low-income New York City resident (decedent). Payment may be authorized to reimburse funeral expenses that have already been paid or pre-approval for payment may be authorized for the cost of a planned funeral.

What can be covered

OBS can pay up to a maximum amount of $1,700 under the current emergency rule towards the cost of a funeral bill for a decedent's final disposition (which includes burial, cremation or burying of cremation ashes) to the decedent's relative, friend, Organizational Friend or authorized representative.

In the event, the funeral bill exceeds the current $3,400 cap under the emergency rule, the cost of the burial plot, grave opening or cremation will be deducted from the total bill and where the remaining bill amount is less than the above cap a burial allowance will be approved.

Eligibility

The burial allowance is available to low income decedents that do not have resources or assets available to pay for their funeral. Proof of low-income status may include, receipt of social services benefits or public assistance from HRA such as cash assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits, or social security benefits including supplemental security income (SSI).

A legally responsible relative (a spouse or parent of a deceased minor under age twenty-one (21)) that applies for the allowance must also be unable to pay the funeral bill and meet the low-income eligibility criteria to qualify.

To determine eligibility, an application must be submitted and OBS will assess the individual circumstances of each case.

To apply

The applicant who is responsible for the funeral arrangements or his/her representative must file an application within one hundred-twenty (120) days under the emergency rule, from the date of the decedent's death with the Office of Burial Services.

The Burial Allowance application, M-860W, can be obtained by using the above link or by calling the Office of Burial Services to request an application. The application information can be directly entered on the form available on the website.

Supporting documentation

We will accept a photo or scanned image of a document via email and we may require a hard copy if the image or photo is not legible. Below is a list of the general documentation needed to begin processing the burial allowance application. OBS may request additional documents to determine eligibility based upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

  • A Burial Allowance Application Form M-860W completed and signed by the applicant or authorized representative. See application for details.
  • One original certified copy of the Death Certificate (it will be returned to the applicant).
  • A copy of the Funeral Contract also known as the Statement of Goods and Services Selected. The contract must be signed by the Funeral Director and by the person that made the funeral arrangements.
  • A copy of the cemetery or crematory bill, itemizing all charges.
  • Original itemized funeral bill signed by the Funeral Director and notarized in the presence of a Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds. The funeral bill must be stamped "Paid-in-Full" if the charges have been paid and the applicant is seeking reimbursement.
  • Original fully completed Funeral Director's Affidavit forms signed by the Funeral Director and notarized in the presence of a Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds, if there is money still owed to the funeral establishment. See link to Funeral Director's Affidavit.
  • Note: During the pandemic an electronic signature to be used by a person in lieu of a signature affixed by hand in executing documents and forms authorizing or accepting funeral services. NYS Governor's Executive Order 202.11 March 27, 2020.

Payments

In the case of reimbursement to an individual, to receive a payment you will need a form of identification to verify the name and address of the person receiving the payment from HRA. For payments to an Organizational Friend, funeral home or funeral services provider a W-9 will be required. OBS can assist you with requesting the W-9 information.

For additional information you can reach us at 929-252-7731. Please leave a message and we will return your call before the end of the next business day.