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}

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