To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule:
Applications received on or after March 12, 2020 will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status.
New: View the Burial Assistance Frequently Asked Questions in:
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
As of Monday, April 12, 2021, FEMA began accepting applications via a phone application through their dedicated call center:
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number:
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, FEMA encourages you to keep and gather all relevant documentation. Types of information required should include:
View the FEMA Funeral Assistance Flyer for additional information:
NYC’s COVID-19 Immigrant Burial Assistance Program helps family members or other individuals responsible for burial costs of their loved ones who passed away from COVID-19. The program was created by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC in partnership with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and is available to any eligible individual regardless of their immigration status. Learn more.
NOTE: FEMA eligible individuals are not eligible for the fund. Applicants cannot apply for both FEMA and MOIA assistance.
Applicants for Burial Assistance should know that surviving children of decedents may be eligible for Survivors Benefits from the Social Security Administration under certain circumstances. The Social Security Administration may provide Survivors Benefits based upon the decedent’s work history to decedent’s unmarried children. Visit Survivors Benefits | SSA to learn more about these benefits and how to apply.
We are open to the public Monday-Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If your needs cannot be met by ACCESS HRA, call 311 or consult the HRA Locations page for the latest information on center openings.
This brochure outlines how HRA’s Office of Burial Services (OBS) can provide financial assistance to help you meet the funeral expenses for a deceased low-income New York City resident. This can apply to either funeral expenses that have already been paid, or pre-approval for the cost of a planned funeral.
Open the Burial Services Outreach Brochure.
Our office is now located at:
33-28 Northern Blvd. - 3rd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101
You can call us at:
Please leave a message and an OBS staff member will return your call before the end of the next business day.
You can also view the Burial Allowance Application form in:
View the Instructions for the Burial Allowance Application form in:
Read more about the application process below.
NYC HRA Office of Burial Services
33-28 Northern Blvd. - 3rd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101
The application can be faxed to 917-639-0476
The application can be emailed to BurialServices@hra.nyc.gov
Call us at 718-557-1399 if you need a copy of the application and we will mail or email you an application. If you need assistance with completing the on-line application, give us a call.
The Human Resources Administration (HRA), Office of Burial Services (OBS) assists individuals in need of financial assistance to meet funeral expenses for a deceased low-income New York City resident (decedent). Payment may be authorized to reimburse funeral expenses that have already been paid or pre-approval for payment may be authorized for the cost of a planned funeral.
OBS can pay up to a maximum amount of $1,700 under the current emergency rule towards the cost of a funeral bill for a decedent's final disposition (which includes burial, cremation or burying of cremation ashes) to the decedent's relative, friend, Organizational Friend or authorized representative.
In the event, the funeral bill exceeds the current $3,400 cap under the emergency rule, the cost of the burial plot, grave opening or cremation will be deducted from the total bill and where the remaining bill amount is less than the above cap a burial allowance will be approved.
The burial allowance is available to low income decedents that do not have resources or assets available to pay for their funeral. Proof of low-income status may include, receipt of social services benefits or public assistance from HRA such as cash assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits, or social security benefits including supplemental security income (SSI).
A legally responsible relative (a spouse or parent of a deceased minor under age twenty-one (21)) that applies for the allowance must also be unable to pay the funeral bill and meet the low-income eligibility criteria to qualify.
To determine eligibility, an application must be submitted and OBS will assess the individual circumstances of each case.
The applicant who is responsible for the funeral arrangements or his/her representative must file an application within one hundred-twenty (120) days under the emergency rule, from the date of the decedent's death with the Office of Burial Services.
The Burial Allowance application, M-860W, can be obtained by using the above link or by calling the Office of Burial Services to request an application. The application information can be directly entered on the form available on the website.
We will accept a photo or scanned image of a document via email and we may require a hard copy if the image or photo is not legible. Below is a list of the general documentation needed to begin processing the burial allowance application. OBS may request additional documents to determine eligibility based upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
In the case of reimbursement to an individual, to receive a payment you will need a form of identification to verify the name and address of the person receiving the payment from HRA. For payments to an Organizational Friend, funeral home or funeral services provider a W-9 will be required. OBS can assist you with requesting the W-9 information.
For additional information you can reach us at 718-557-1399. Please leave a message and we will return your call before the end of the next business day.
Since 1869, Hart Island has been used as a site for public burials and is the final resting place for more than a million souls. In 2019, the New York City Council determined that HRA's Office of Burial Services will be responsible for facilitating public burials on the island, transferring responsibility solely for the burials to the Department of Social Services. Currently, administrative and operational functions on Hart Island are still managed by the New York City Department of Correction. Please visit DOC's Hart Island page for more information on visiting the island and finding a loved one. Please continue to check this page of updated information.