Check the deceased's case record for any resources that would reduce the Department's payment.
Resources for all programs include:
NOTE: Use the account balance as of the date of death unless the family shows that there is money in the account that represents the deceased's income for that month and that income is needed to pay outstanding bills.
- burial trust agreements and burial plots, and
- insurance proceeds on the life of the deceased.
Resources for AABD and TANF:
- cash reserves,
- homestead property, and
- other real or personal property.
NOTE: Do not count funds in the deceased's personal account and room and board account held by a nursing home. HFS Bureau of Collections will collect these funds as an estate claim.
Other resources include:
Responsible Relative Resources
The central Funeral & Burial Unit, Bureau of Family Community Resource Center Transactions and Support Services, determines if a responsible relative is able to pay the funeral and burial expenses. For an AABD case, send the Funeral and Burial Unit information about the responsible relative's income and assets. For a TANF or Family Health Plans case, send information about the responsible relative's income only.
Treat payments, amounts arranged to be paid by responsible relatives, and life insurance benefits received by the responsible relative as available.
If the responsible relative receives a Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefit, deduct the benefit from a vendor claim only in the amount paid by the responsible relative to the vendor. If the responsible relative does not use the lump sum death benefit to make payment to the vendor, do not deduct the benefit from the vendor claim.
Example 1: Mr. B, our client, passes away. His surviving spouse, Mrs. B, receives the SSA $255 lump sum death payment. The funeral home submits Form 29 requesting payment of $1,103. We decide that Mrs. B is not financially able to pay Mr. B's funeral expenses. We approve payment of $1,103 to the funeral home.
Example 2: Mrs. C, our client, passes away. Mr. C, her surviving spouse, receives the SSA $255 lump sum death payment. Mr. C pays the funeral home $500 toward funeral expenses. The funeral home submits Form 29 requesting payment. We decide that Mr. C is not financially able to further pay the funeral expenses. We approve payment of $603 ($1,103 - $500).
Veteran's Administration Benefits
Burial benefits are available for veterans who have been discharged from the military under conditions other than dishonorable.
- For TANF clients, burial benefits are $150 for veterans who served during:
- April 6, 1917 - April 1, 1920
- December 7, 1941 - January 31, 1946
- June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
- August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975
- For AABD clients, burial benefits are $450 if the veteran was:
- receiving veteran's disability benefits at the time of death, or
- in a veteran's hospital at the time of death.
AABD clients also have a plot allowance of $150 for State cemetery burials. Sunset Cemetery in Quincy is the only State cemetery in Illinois.
The cemetery should apply for the burial benefit. A funeral home may apply only if they prepaid the charges that apply to the Department's burial allowance.
Certain veterans may also be eligible for a $300 basic death benefit. This benefit is primarily available to a veteran who receives monthly benefits coded 517 in Item 90 of HFS 552.
Contact the local VA office to find out if these benefits are available. If available, the $300 benefit goes to the funeral home.
Railroad Retirement Insurance Benefits
Retired employees of railroads, Railway Express Agency, Pullman Company, railroad associations, and unions may be eligible for a death benefit as well as insurance. Railroad Retirement Death Benefits will not be paid if there are survivors entitled to annuities in the month the retired employee dies.
Contact the local U.S. Railroad Retirement Board to find out if the resource is available.
Local Government Burial Funds
The county where the veteran lived must pay funeral/burial expenses for a veteran or a veteran's minor children if the veteran was honorably discharged from any war. Contact the County Clerk for this payment.
Some local government units have funds for the burial of indigents. Contact the local government to find out if funds are available.
Private Organization Benefits
Treat funeral/burial benefits from employers, pensions, unions, or fraternal organizations as available unless documentation shows they are not available to the deceased client.