Getting Help With Funeral Expenses

get help with these different aid avenues

Eau Claire County Aging & Disability Resource Center

NAVIGATING EXPENSES. These programs could help you pay to lay your loved ones to rest. (Photo via Unsplash)

Funeral and Cemetery Aids Program (WFCAP)

• Family members interested in funeral/burial assistance should speak with their funeral, cemetery, or crematory service provider.

• Service providers may receive a WFCAP payment for unmet funeral/burial and cemetery/crematory expenses for decedents enrolled in certain Medicaid programs. Request for reimbursement must come from a funeral home, cemetery, or crematory.

• If a decedent was not enrolled in one of the qualifying programs at the time of death, the decedent may still qualify for WFCAP benefits if at the time of death or due to the cause of death, the decedent was eligible for Medicaid. Prior to the service provider submitting a WFCAP application, the decedent’s representative or family must contact the decedent’s income maintenance agency for a posthumous application to determine if the decedent was eligible for Medicaid.

• Wisconsin Funeral and Cemetery Aids Program (WFCAP) | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Helpful Hearts Foundation

• Financial assistance to those who are not eligible for WFCAP. Have the funeral home you are working with check this eligibility BEFORE you apply for assistance with Helpful Hearts.

• Decedent (and spouse, if applicable) must meet income guidelines.

• Visit or email for more information and to obtain an application.

Social Security

• If the deceased person worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits, a spouse or minor child of the deceased may receive a one-time lump sum death benefit payment to be used for funeral expenses.

• Contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to report the death and inquire about benefits.

Veterans’ funeral benefits

• Veterans of the U.S. armed forces and some civilians who have worked with the military or U.S. Public Health Service are entitled to a number of funeral benefits. Spouses and dependent children may also qualify. Contact your local Veteran Services office.

Faith Communities

• Speak with someone at the deceased’s church to find out if funds are available to assist in the funeral expenses. Many faith communities offer help for members and their families who cannot afford to pay for funeral costs.


• The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers assistance to citizens when a disaster occurs. FEMA can provide money to cover medical and dental costs, clothing, shelter, moving expenses and will even assist in the expenses involved in burial and funerals if the deceased died because of a disaster.

• To apply for assistance, go to or call 800-621-3362