According to an April 4, 2014 article by Daniel Chang in the Miami Herald, Medicaid enrollment is on the rise in both Florida and the nation. With these increasing numbers of new enrollees come additional questions by many about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and what each agency will pay towards a funeral or cremation.
Currently, the only one of the three agencies that will pay any amount towards the funeral is Social Security. The Social Security Survivor’s Benefit program has a one-time lump sum death benefit available to those who qualify in the amount of $255. This “Death Benefit” is designed to help pay for funeral and cremation costs for anyone who had qualified for social security benefits.
Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse provided he or she was living in the same household with the worker when he or she died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, he or she was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death.
If there’s no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can be paid to the worker’s child (or children) if, during the month the worker died, the child was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death. In other words, the child has to be considered a dependent child by Social Security to receive the benefits. (more…)