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Burial Assistance

ESA’s (formerly known as IMA) Burial Assistance Program offers assistance to low-income Washington, DC residents only who need help with funeral costs.   ESA provides up to $800 towards funeral services or $450 towards the cost of cremation. Families receiving this assistance must use an ESA identified undertaker. The total cost of the funeral must not be greater than $2,000.

Applications are available at the following address:

Office of Specialized Services
Burial Assistance Program
645 H Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

What Help is Available?

ESA provides up to $800 towards funeral services or $450 towards the cost of cremation. Families receiving this assistance must use an undertaker that has a contract with ESA. The total cost of the funeral must not be greater than $2,000.

Does it Pay for Everything?

No. The benefit is limited to $800 towards funeral services or $450 towards the cost of cremation. ESA makes all payments directly to the funeral home. Families are not reimbursed for funeral expenses that they pay out-of-pocket or if they use a different funeral home.

Who is Eligible?

A family may be eligible if the money available to the deceased on the date of death does not exceed $800. This amount includes any remaining money from banking and checking accounts, final Social Security checks, life insurance payouts, final paychecks, etc. Special rules may apply to spouses and to children under age 18.

How do you Apply?

A family member or individual assisting with funeral services should apply for the deceased. They should apply at the 645 H Street Service Center to complete and sign a short application. You must use a Funeral Home that is currently under contract with the District of Columbia. Additionally, they must provide the following:

  • Proof of District residency (unless the deceased was homeless);
  • Proof of income;
  • Proof of resources; and
  • Proof of relationship
  • ESA will make an eligibility determination as quickly as possible.

Who Can you Call with Questions?

Customers should contact the Burial Unit on (202) 698-4112 if they have any questions.  


Service Details: 
Service Contact: 
Office of Specialized Services, Burial Assistance Program
Contact Phone: 
(202) 698-4112
Contact TTY: 
711
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15am to 4:45pm