Funeral, Burial and Cremation Costs
0900-513.10 | Revision Date: 07/01/14
This policy guide provides information on arranging for funeral, burial or cremation for a child who died in out-of-home placement, including circumstances in which DCFS can provide financial assistance for the funeral, burial or cremation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Funeral, Burial and Cremation Assistance
Child Death Occurred in a Group Home
Child Death Occurred in a Kin-GAP Situation
Child Death Occurred as a Result of a Crime
Parent/Caregiver is Unavailable to Plan Child’s Burial/Funeral/Cremation
Caregiver Arranging the Child’s Burial/Funeral/Cremation <![CDATA[ ]]>
CSW Responsibilities <![CDATA[ ]]>
Approvals <![CDATA[ ]]>
Helpful Links <![CDATA[ ]]>
Statutes <![CDATA[ ]]>
This policy guide was updated from the 09/28/09 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.
Funeral, Burial and Cremation Assistance
When a child dies in out-of-home placement (including placement with a foster care-eligible relative or nonrelative extended family member), and there is no parent to plan or pay for the cost of a funeral/burial/cremation, DCFS must assist a caregiver in arranging for a funeral service and/or burial or cremation of that child.
If the caregiver decides to provide funeral/burial/cremation, DCFS will participate in the payment of expenses up to a maximum of $5,000 through the AFDC-FC Funeral Costs Program.
Child’s Death Occurred in a Group Home
If a child dies while placed in a group home, the group home is responsible for paying for the funeral/burial/cremation costs. Group homes are not eligible to receive funds under the AFDC-FC Funeral Costs Program. However, DCFS will pay the costs for a child that was a runaway from a group home at the time of his/her death.
Child’s Death Occurred in a Kin-Gap Situation
A related foster care provider receiving Kin-GAP is entitled to the allowance for funeral expenses, per MPP 11-420.2. Requests for funds are processed through the Kinship Resource Center.
Child’s Death Occurred as a Result of a Crime
Funding and services are available to families when a child’s death occurred as a result of a crime.
Back to Policy
Parent/Caregiver is Unavailable to Plan Child’s Funeral, Burial or Cremation
- Contact surviving relatives (if available) to determine whether they are able to pay for a funeral/burial/cremation.
- If relatives are unable to pay for a funeral/burial/cremation, make arrangements at the County’s expense through the Mortuary Office, LAC-USC Medical Center at (323) 409-7161.
- If the child is a dependent of the court, the Department may authorize all-county funds.
- Inform the caregiver that he/she may arrange for cremation/burial through the Mortuary Office.
- Document the results of all contacts in the Contact Notebook.
Back to Procedure
Caregiver Arranging the Child’s Funeral, Burial or Cremation
In order for a caregiver to make memorial service arrangements, the following procedures apply:
- The child’s legal parents or next-of-kin are not available to plan or provide a funeral/burial/cremation because of unknown whereabouts or death, or
- After being notified by the County of the child’s death and available resources, the parent(s) do not wish to or cannot provide funeral/burial/cremation services.
- Contact the parent to obtain permission to allow the caregiver to arrange the funeral/burial/cremation.
- Document the parent’s decision to permit the caregiver to arrange services in the Contact Notebook.
- Specify the type of contact (e.g. in-person, home, letter, etc.)
- If a face-to-face contact takes place, ask the parent to sign a statement of his/her willingness to permit the caregiver to provide funeral services.
- Inform the caregiver that he/she can plan the child’s funeral and can request reimbursement through the AFDC-FC funeral cost program. Also explain the following:
- Any costs exceeding $5,000 will be at the caregiver’s expense.
- If the caregiver received funds (e.g. child’s estate, private contributions) in excess of their personal costs for the purpose of paying for some or all of the funeral/burial/cremation expenses, the caregiver must reimburse DCFS the excess amount received.
- After the funeral/burial/cremation services, the caregiver must provide the original funeral/burial/cremation bills and sign the DCFS 835.
- Consult with the Eligibility Worker to determine if there are any additional benefits available in the child’s Foster Care Trust Account (e.g. Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits, SSI/SSP).
- If funds are available, request that the funds be applied toward the funeral/burial/cremation costs.
- Document contacts with the Eligibility Worker in Case Notes.
- Complete the DCFS 835, AFDC Funeral Costs Program Affidavit.
- Make four (4) copies of the DCFS 835.
- Upon receipt of the funeral/burial/cremation bills and the signed DCFS 835:
- Give a copy of the DCFS 835 to the caregiver
- Attach a photocopy of the bills to each affidavit and submit the original and two (2) copies of the DCFS 835 and the bills to the Eligibility Worker
- File a copy of the DCFS 835 and a photocopy of the bills in the Services Eligibility Folder
- Complete the DCFS 5540 , Special Payment Authorization Request and obtain SCSW and ARA approval for all requests.
- If the request is above an amount of $500, also obtain RA approval.
- After obtaining approval of the DCFS 5540, forward it to the Eligibility Worker along with the completed DCFS 835 and its attachments.
Back to Procedure
- DCFS 5540, RA signature required on amounts over $500
Back to Approvals
DCFS 835, AFDC Funeral Costs Program Affidavit
DCFS 5540 , Special Payment Authorization Request
Administrative Standards for Eligibility and Assistance Programs Division 11 Section 11-420.2 – States that when a foster parent(s) desires a funeral other than as provided by the county, the county must reimburse the foster parent(s) for the cost of the funeral expenses up to $5,000. Direct payment of the claim to the funeral home and burial plot must be made upon request by the foster parents or when the death of the foster child is due to the foster parent’s alleged criminal negligence or other alleged criminal action.
All County Letter Number 99-97, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-GAP) – States that a related foster care provider of a child receiving Kin-GAP is entitled to an allowance for funeral expenses, when appropriate, per MPP 11-420.2.
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