Medicaid, Crime Victims, Indigent Deaths

Medicaid Funeral Assistance

New Jersey will pay up to $2,246 in funeral costs and $524 in burial costs or crematory expenses for a deceased welfare recipient who is two year of age or older. Families are permitted to supplement these amounts up to $1,570. Information on eligibility here.

SSI and Medicaid allow you to set aside money for funeral arrangements in a prepaid trust if you expect you will become eligible for SSI or Medicaid within the next six months. Contact your county Board of Social Services.

Crime Victims Compensation

New Jersey’s Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) is a state-run commission that acts as a support system for crime victims and their families. The VCCO provides financial compensation for some of the expenses victims and their families incur as a result of a violent crime.

Compensation benefits may be awarded to qualifying individuals, such as surviving spouses, children or other dependent relatives, up to a maximum of $25,000. The VCCO will award compensation for the balance of crime-related expenses not reimbursed by other resources, such as medical insurance or disability benefits.

Compensation may include reimbursement for such items as:

  • Funeral allowances up to $5,000.
  • Crime scene cleanup up to $1,500.
  • Emergency financial assistance up to $1,500.
  • Medically related expenses.
  • Loss of earnings or financial support.
  • Mental health counseling.

To apply for benefits, individuals must have reported the crime to the police within six (6) months and submit a claim to the VCCO within three (3) years. To submit a claim, an individual must file a VCCO application, police report, copies of bills and receipts of all related financial losses as well as additional documentation as necessary.

For more information visit the VCCO.

Indigent Deaths

According to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-49.1, should an indigent person die without a surviving spouse, parent  or emancipated child, their resident county must pay all “necessary and reasonable” burial costs. The statute defines “indigent decedent” as one who dies without leaving an “ascertainable estate sufficient to pay part or all of the person’s burial expenses and whose burial expenses are not payable by the State. (See “Pubic Assistance” for more information.)

Further, N.J.S.A. 44:4-118 states that when a person dies “without leaving sufficient funds to defray their funeral expenses,” the county must “employ some person to provide for and superintend the burial of the deceased person” and pay all “necessary and reasonable expenses.”

Each New Jersey County sets its own indigent funeral reimbursement rate. Some jurisdictions put money aside each year to cover these costs, and the amounts vary from county to county.

When an indigent death occurs, the County the decedent resided in is the entity responsible for the burial if the costs are not covered by another State or Federal program.  The local medical examiner, hospital or nursing home usually contacts the county’s burial coordinator to make the arrangements for indigent burials.

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