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Burial Assistance

The Burial Assistance Program offers assistance to income eligible Washington, DC residents only who need help with funeral costs. Economic Security Administration (ESA) provides up to $800 toward funeral services or $450 toward 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

Does it Pay for Everything?

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. 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: 
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15am to 4:45pm