REMINDER: Indigent Burial Fund

July 27, 2020

In July 2019, Ohio’s 133rd General Assembly passed Amended Substitute House Bill 166 (omnibus bill) to the state’s FY2020-2021 operating budget bill, to include the transfer of responsibility for the administration of the Indigent Burial and Cremation Support Program in the pending budget bill from the Department of Job and Family Services to the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The amendment created a GRF appropriation, Indigent Burial and Cremation Support, to be used by the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and appropriates $1 million in each fiscal year for these purposes.

In December, 2019 and February, 2020, the State of Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors adopted rules regarding the administration of the Indigent Burial and Cremation Support Program in Chapter 4717-17 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

The program is an opportunity for local government entities in the State of Ohio to apply for reimbursement for the cost of providing burials or cremations to indigent deceased persons. The program may reimburse the local government entity the actual costs charged or contracted by a funeral home to perform up to a maximum of $1,000 for an adult and up to a maximum of $750 for a child. Only local government entities are eligible to apply for reimbursement from the program.

The small office of the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors does administer the program. They work diligently to approve and pay claims within 30 days. However, given the challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this may be extended. For more information or to access an application, please go to https://funeral.ohio.gov.