Free Cremation Through State Funeral Assistance In New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide payment for cremation services on behalf of eligible individuals. Cremstar of New Jersey is registered as an official provider with DHS. You will need to pay for the cremation in advance before we can apply for reimbursement from the state.

What’s Covered

DHS will pay up to $2,770 towards funeral and cremation expenses.

Eligibility

Individuals eligible for state public assistance funeral and burial funds include:
  • Newly approved (within 15 days death), eligible applicants or active recipients of these programs:
    • Work First NJ/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (WFNJ/TANF);
    • Work First NJ/General Assistance (WFNJ/GA);
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid Only;
    • Stillborns/deceased newborns of WFNJ, SSI and WFNJ/GA recipients.
  • WFNJ recipients in a NJ public institution (not a penal or correctional) where they died within the first six months
  • WFNJ/GA recipients who died while patients in hospitals
  • Medicaid Only recipients who lived in the community or in Medicaid approved facilities
  • Medically Needy recipients in nursing homes
  • SSI recipients in hospice care programs
  • Individuals in Adult Foster Care
  • Community Care Program for the Elderly and Disabled (CCPED) recipients
  • Individuals who died while satisfying WFNJ sanctions
  • Children of WFNJ recipients (eligibility is subject to the program's family cap)
  • AIDS Community Care Alternative Program (AACAP) recipients
  • Recipients of WFNJ/GA benefits at least six months prior to death
  • Those found eligible for Assisted Living Services based on Medicaid Only eligibility
  • Medicaid-eligible individuals in long-term care facilities who were not receiving Medicaid benefits at the time of death because they were under the care of a hospice agency (NOTE: Does not apply to those who received hospice care at home.)
  • New Jersey Care-Special Medicaid Program for Aged, Blind and Disabled recipients
  • SSI or Medicaid Only recipients who died in a New Jersey institution (not penal or correctional)
  • New Jersey Workability Program participants

To Apply

Ultimately, eligibility for financial assistance is determined by the DHS County Board of Social Services from the county in which the deceased was receiving benefits. For the phone number of the correct County Board office, visit the DHS County Boards of Social Services page.

Remember: You will need to order the cremation before we can apply for financial assistance from the state. To let us know you’re interested in funeral financial assistance, please check the box by the phrase, “The deceased was on public assistance/medicaid and may be eligible for up to 100% of funeral costs through the Burial Assistance Fund,” on the first form when you order the cremation. We’ll help you get through the process and make sure that all qualified applicants receive their benefits.

If you are in immediate need because a death has already occurred, order a direct cremation now. If a death is imminent (i.e. in a matter of days or weeks), visit the Cremstar Cremation Cost Calculator for a price quote and to email yourself a customized "Order Now" link so that you're ready when the death occurs. If you are planning ahead and want to lock in a price for the future, visit our Planning Ahead for Cremation section.