Does SSI help with funeral expenses?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My granddaughter-in-law's mother is dying. The mother receives SSI and doesn't have any insurance. Does SSI help any with the funeral like SS?

Expert Answer

Mary Koffend is the president of Accountable Aging Care Management (AACM), an eldercare consulting and care management firm that works with elder clients and their families to find the best care providers and services to meet their needs.

There is no funeral benefit for recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The purpose of SSI benefits is to provide a floor against poverty by providing a set benefit amount for current needs, like food and housing. To qualify for the payment, the person must have low income and few assets.

Social Security is a social insurance program. It is based on the earnings of the worker and has set benefits such as retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. One of the survivor's benefits is a very small death benefit under certain circumstance.

One resource that families can access to assist with the understanding of funeral costs and work with suppliers that offer what they want and can afford is The Funeral Consumers Alliance. Their website is http://www.funerals.org. There are local chapters with very specific information.