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A funeral or memorial is a customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are held for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process. They also give mourners a chance to share stories, create memories, fulfill religious beliefs & customs, participate in a support system, and gather at a peaceful place during a time of confusion and uncertainty.
Social Security provides a lump-sum death payment (LSDP) of $255, and only if you qualify. This is in addition to any monthly cash benefits you may qualify for. The LSDP may be paid to:
Family, close friends, co-workers, fellow worshipers, neighbors & acquaintances, and in some cases, the greater community.
The cost of a funeral includes all the services of a funeral director (see task list above), merchandise, such as caskets and urns, and transportation. Other costs may apply. In general, funeral homes make only a modest profit.
Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals, including, in certain instances, a lump sum death payment from Social Security. In most states, some form of public aid allowances are available from either the state, county, city, or a combination. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them.