Writing A Funeral Cost Hardship Letter

When someone you care about passes away, and particularly if this is unexpected, you may find yourself in shock not just because of the sad passing, but also because of the significant burial and funeral expenses. It is quite common for people to neglect saving up for their funeral, which means that their loved ones left behind have to scrimp and scramble to come up with the money that is required. That said, hardship funds exist as well, so you may want to consider writing a funeral cost hardship letter.

There are a number of different associations that you can write to in order to ask for a hardship grant. These include government employee funds, mutual aid associations, and religious organizations. You will usually have to be a member of these groups in order to apply for them, and they tend to have their own specific requirements in terms of what you should put in the hardship letter.

Social Security

The most commonly used program is Social Security. As a surviving spouse, you are entitled to a lump sum death benefit, which is designed to pay for the funeral costs. You will also start receiving monthly Social Security checks if you are entitled to them. Social Security has standard forms for this.

For Military Personnel

You may also attempt to access the charitable organizations associated with the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. They each have their own requirements in terms of what you have to supply and demonstrate. Their criteria for economic hardship will also vary. You may also want to consider the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Naturally, these benefits are only available to those who have served in one of those departments.

Special Tragic Circumstances

You may also be classed as having “special tragic circumstances”. For instance, your loved one may have died as the result of a crime, negligence of another organization, or a natural disaster. If so, then you may be able to access crime victim grants through the Department of Justice or your local police department. You can also check out the forms at the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association), which has grants available for natural disaster victims.

State Department of Human Services

Different state, county, and city governments may also have grants and funds available to help people cover the costs of funeral expenses. In most cases, you should contact the State Department of Human Services for this. They will supply you with the relevant forms and explain to you how to write your hardship letter. If your loved one, or you, has already received certain state benefits, burial help may be available to you as well.

It is important to learn the guidelines in relation to how much money you can receive towards a burial or cremation. You will usually not receive any of these funds yourself. Rather, they will be paid to the funeral parlor that you have chosen to conduct the service. In most cases, you will have to fill out a reimbursement form with a letter explaining your hardship. Although all of that may sound complicated, don’t worry because help is available.

Writing A Funeral Cost Hardship Letter Examples

{Phone #}


Dear {memorial society/burial claims agency}:

I am reaching out to your {nonprofit/agency} in the hopes of receiving financial assistance relating to funeral and burial services for my mother, who {has died/is dying}.

I’ve spoken with {funeral home} and the director there, {name}, told me about your fund. {Director} is willing to discount fees and is even offering {a casket at wholesale pricing}. However, I will still be responsible for {amount}. Even that is too much for me to absorb. If you’re able to contribute {amount}, that will ease the burden and allow me to participate in the funeral home’s payment plan.

Nearly all of my financial resources have been depleted due to {end-of-life care/taking time off work/etc.}.

Please consider assisting me in honoring my mother’s wishes for a funeral and traditional casket burial.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Hardship Letter Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loan Modification

When you write an adjustable rate mortgage loan modification hardship letter, you are formally requesting that the terms and conditions of your loan be changed. The letter is an opportunity for you to highlight your financial difficulty and to attempt to get better terms and thereby avoid a foreclosure. Remember, however, that lenders are not interested in life stories. All they want to know are the facts that surround your current situation.

Key Reasons for Writing the Hardship Letter

There are two key reasons why you may want to send this letter: medical issues and job loss. In addition, some lenders will accept death of a spouse, divorce, military duty, a newborn child, and relocation. Sometimes, they will even accept a failing or failed business. However, they are unlikely to assist if there isn’t a benefit in it for them. Lenders don’t generally want to repossess properties, which means they will want to avoid foreclosing the property as well. Hence, if you can explain that you don’t want to get out of paying your debt, but that you simply need some help, you have the best chance of being accepted.

Basic Rules in Writing the Hardship Letter

Make sure that your letter comes across as positive. They want to see that you are a responsible borrower who wants to do the right thing. Hence, you should be matter of fact about your situation and about what you have done and are doing to stay on top of your bills. You have to be able to prove everything that you state as well, so do make sure to show some documents.

The letter is perhaps the most important thing in this entire process. Hence, you need to make sure it includes all pertinent details:

  1. Why you are behind in your payments
  2. When you first fell behind
  3. When and how you expect your situation to improve
  4. What kind of modification are you asking for
  5. How much you are able to pay each month, if anything
  6. Whether you are seeking treatment if the difficulty is due to an addiction

The letter must be signed by you, even if you have asked a consultant to write it for you. You also have to make sure that it is a genuine letter, and not simply a template with some details changed. You should not include a lengthy narration of your situation, nor should you exaggerate your situation. Be to the point and honest instead.

Finally, remember that this is a formal letter. Hence, address it to the right person in the right format. The subject line should include your reason for writing, as well as your account number. You should also make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors in the letter, so proofread it or ask someone to do that for you. You should also try to have all the information on a single page. Longer letters are more likely to be dismissed, simply because hundreds of them are received every week and lenders have a limited time in which to read through all of them.

Hardship Letter Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loan Modification

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone #}
{Your Loan #}


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this hardship letter to request a loan modification. My financial situation cannot currently accommodate the adjustable mortgage rate that is being asked of me.

For the last {number} years, my mortgage has been billed to me at a fixed rate of {amount} per {time}. As of {date}, however, the amount due jumped to {amount} per {time}.I understand that I entered into an adjustable rate contract, and originally I had a financial plan that was flexible enough to meet the projected expense. Unfortunately, new circumstances have drastically depleted my funds, and I find myself facing foreclosure if I cannot meet the new payments.

My finances have changed due to unexpected {medical bills, job loss, etc. Be specific.} While I could afford the fixed rate, this new expense is too much for my limited account. I have attached last year’s federal income tax return and my credit card bills from the last two months. Also included is a worksheet detailing the dispersal of income among essential payments.

I would like to request a return to my former fixed rate, which is still a payment I can afford. If that does not work, perhaps we could come to terms on a deferral plan or a principal loan reduction.

I hope to avoid foreclosure at all costs. Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can work out a payment plan.


{Sender Name}

Writing A Hardship Letter To Doctor

Health care is indeed expensive and doctors are often busy. In many cases, only those with significant funds and some sort of private health insurance are able to get the treatment that they need, when they need it. If you are in financial hardship, then it is likely that you will find it particularly difficult to obtain the medical care that you require. If this is the case for you, and you have been denied an early appointment with a specialist, you may consider writing a letter to have that decision reconsidered.

Basic Guidelines for Writing a Hardship Letter to Doctor

Hardship letters are usually quite formal pieces of writing. When writing to a doctor, however, it is often better to become somewhat more personal. That being said, you should still make sure that your letter is properly presented and addressed, that it is dated, and that it includes all the important information that the doctor may need.

Starting the Letter

You should start by explaining that you had requested an appointment, but that you have not been granted one before a specific date. Make sure to include the date on which you requested an appointment, the date on which you received a decision, and the date on which the appointment is offered.

Content of the Hardship Letter

Next, explain why it is important for you to see that specific doctor. He or she may, for instance, be the only specialist in a certain field within a certain geographical area. Explain that you are aware of this because you have already seen other physicians but the treatment you received were not successful for you. State that you feel that the said doctor would be the one to be able to provide an accurate diagnosis, or who would be able to provide appropriate treatment. Flattery can help here, although you do have to make sure that you don’t lay it on too thick at the same time.

Explain that your condition is life limiting, and that, should you have to wait for an appointment, it may get much worse. Do not be afraid to explain that you feel desperate and that your hopes are pinned on this particular doctor. If such is the case, emphasize that your illness has also prevented you from being productive, and that waiting for such a long period of time will make it impossible for you to continue to pay all your bills as well.

Ending the Letter

Do also state what you would be willing to offer the physician in return. Your case may be particularly interesting, for instance, and you may be willing to let your details to be shared with medical students. Physicians are always interested in unique cases, after all.

Finally, make sure that you send the letter via registered mail, and indicate that you will follow up by a certain date over the telephone to confirm not just receipt, but also whether you can indeed have an earlier appointment with the doctor. Do also include any evidence you have to support the things you have stated before.

Hardship Letter To Doctor Example

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone #}


Dear {Doctor}:

On {date}, I was informed by your staff that you have no openings over the next {amount of time} and that you can’t schedule an appointment with me until {date} at the earliest. I am writing to beg you to reconsider.

I know that you are the only medical doctor focusing on {field} in a {number}-mile radius. I know this because I have been to every general physician in the area, and it is my sincere belief that you are the only person who can help treat me, or even tell me what, precisely, is wrong with me. I’m not an impatient person, but I’m afraid that if I have to wait {amount of time}, my condition will have worsened to the point of severe illness or even death. I admit that I’m afraid and even desperate at this point to get answers that will help me.

If there’s one thing I can offer you, it’s the guarantee that you will find my case unique and medically relevant to your research into {field}. {Brief medical history}. I have been to {list of other doctors/clinics} and no one can help me. I am happy to come in at any time you can fit me into your schedule, and I will try not to take up too much of your time.

I will call your office again next week. I’m so sorry to be an inconvenience, but I hope that we can find a time to meet very soon.

Thank you,

{Sender Name}

Writing A Hardship Distribution 401k Letter

Some people may realize at some point in their life that they need to make use of their retirement savings in order to meet their financial obligations. By opting for an early 401k withdrawal, they are often able to stay afloat just long enough to get back on their feet. To do this, they must write a hardship distribution 401k letter. The steps in writing it are described below.

1. Meet the Relevant Criteria

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will only accept an early withdrawal if the account holder can demonstrate “immediate and heavy financial need“. This means that it must be used to pay for funeral expenses, repairing extreme property damage, stopping an eviction, paying for educational expenses, buying a primary residence, or medical care. Details are listed in Reg. 1.401(k)-1(d)(3)(1).

2. Format It Properly

Next, speak to your broker or HR department to ensure that you are addressing the letter to the right people. The document you write should be free from spelling and grammatical errors. It should highlight your personal details, as well as your account number. Do also complete some online research for samples of opening sentences.

3. Draft Your Letter

Your letter should start with an explanation of your circumstances. Include any evidence of this as attachment. Explain why the only recourse you can see is an early withdrawal. Be specific about the amount and state that you know the consequences of doing this. Make sure to include any dates on which you have missed payments as well.

4. Edit Your Letter

As much as possible, your letter should be no longer than one page. Your desired outcome should be one of the first things that you mention. Take out any of the details that were added in the draft that are obvious and make sure to stick to facts and avoid showing any emotion.

5. Proofread and Send the Letter

One you have edited your letter, you need to proofread it. If at all possible, you should ask someone else to do it for you. If not, leave the letter overnight and read it the next day. Read it aloud as well, to make sure that it sounds right. Include all the relevant attachments and make sure that you photocopy everything. Date your letter and send it, and make sure that you request a return receipt.

6. Follow Up

Do not accept silence as a response to your letter. Call your fund manager, your contact in HR, or your broker after a week, even if it is just to make sure that the letter has been received. Make sure that you have also consulted with your tax preparer or accountant. This is all about being proactive and understanding what is going to happen next. If your request is accepted, for instance, you may not be able to contribute to your plan for between six months and a year.

There are never any guarantees that a hardship letter will be accepted favorably. However, with these tips, you may greatly increase your chances. Do remember that withdrawing from your retirement account should be a last resort only.

Hardship Distribution 401k Letter Example

{Phone #}


Dear {fund manager}:

Due to immediate and heavy financial need, I must now apply for hardship distribution of funds in my 401(k), as allowed under IRS “safe harbor” regulations.

I am now responsible for {medical expenses/purchase of a principal residence/mortgage payments/tuition/repairs to my residence/funeral expenses}. These costs far exceed the amount of cash or credit I am able to access.

I am seeking to withdraw {amount}, which is only the amount necessary to satisfy this immediate need. I cannot obtain funds from any other source or by liquidating assets.

I understand that I will be taxed on the amount distributed and that I may face additional related taxes.


{Sender Name}