The New York City HRA has increased the Covid 19 Burial benefits from $900 to $1700 for those who passed away during the current pandemic crisis.
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 calling the Office of Burial Services to request an application. The application information can also 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.
Please share the information with your family, friends, networks and anyone you know whose family member or loved one passed on during this pandemic.