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SENATE, NO. 754

By Ms. Creem, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No.754) of Cynthia S. Creem and Patricia Blackenship for legislation to change the guidelines for attaining money for certain burial expenses. Human Services and Elderly Affairs

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In the Year Two Thousand and Three.


AN ACT CHANGING THE GUIDELINES FOR ATTAINING MONEY FOR CERTAIN BURIAL EXPENSES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 130 of chapter 6 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking the third paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following:- The commission may, if no other means are available, pay for the expense of the funeral and burial of blind persons aided under this section, a sum not exceeding eleven hundred dollars; provided, further, that any payment made by said commission shall be reduced by whatever resources may exist in the estate of such deceased blind person. Payment under this section may be made directly to the person furnishing such service.

SECTION 2. Section 9 of chapter 117A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking said section and inserting in place thereof the following:- The department shall provide for the decent burial of all deceased persons who are at the time of death recipients of aid or assistance under this chapter, all deceased persons who, although without means of support at the time of death, did not apply for such aid or assistance; and all unknown persons found dead. It shall also provide for the grave of each such deceased person a suitable marker bearing the name and dates of birth and death of such deceased person, if known, and for the opening of such grave. The expense thereof may be recovered of their kindred, if any, chargeable by law for their support in the manner provided in this chapter; and if the expense of their funeral and burial is not paid by such kindred, an amount not exceeding eleven hundred dollars; provided, further, that any payment made by the department shall be reduced by whatever resources may exist in the estate of said person.

SECTION 3. Section 10 of chapter 117A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended striking said section and inserting in place thereof the following:- In case of the decease of a poor and indigent person the commonwealth shall pay for the expense of the funeral and burial of such person a sum not exceeding eleven hundred dollars; provided, further, that any payment made by the commonwealth shall be reduced by whatever resources may exist in the estate of said person. The funeral director engaged in conducting the funeral and burial of said deceased person shall perform the services and furnish the materials in connection therewith as follows:- removal of body; procuring of death certificate and burial permit; embalming and dressing of body; furnishing suitable burial garment; furnishing suitable casket, bearing metal plate with name of deceased engraved thereon; furnishing outer case of pine wood; furnishing hearse for transporting body of the deceased to a cemetery; furnishing conveyance for transporting to such cemetery the immediate family of the deceased; procuring of a clergyman, of the religion that the deceased professed, to officiate at the funeral; procuring a burial place for the body of the deceased; opening the grave, and obtaining the use of interment devices.

SECTION 4. Section 2 of chapter 118 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking the third paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following:- The department may pay a sum not exceeding eleven hundred dollars for the funeral; provided there are insufficient resources to pay for the cost of such funeral and burial. Any resources of the recipient shall be deducted from the maximum cost of the funeral and burial allowable hereunder and the difference, subject to the limitation set forth in this paragraph, shall be paid by the department.

SECTION 5. Section 7 of chapter 118A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking said section and inserting in place thereof the following:- The department shall provide to aged and disabled residents of the commonwealth under this chapter a program of social services as enumerated under section two of chapter eighteen. In addition to the other benefits authorized by this chapter, the department may provide to such recipients grants of assistance in cases of fire, flood, or other disaster. The department may pay a sum not exceeding eleven hundred dollars for the funeral and burial of a recipient; provided that there are insufficient resources to pay for the cost of such funeral and burial. Any resources of the recipient shall be deducted from the maximum cost of the funeral and burial allowable hereunder and the difference, subject to the limitation set forth in this paragraph, shall be paid by the department.

SECTION 6. Subsection H of section 23 of chapter 119 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following:- The department may pay a sum not exceeding eleven hundred dollars for the funeral and burial of a child in its care; provided that there are insufficient resources to pay for the cost of such funeral and burial. Any resources of the child shall be deducted from the maximum cost of the funeral and burial allowable hereunder and the difference, subject to the limitation set forth in this paragraph, shall be paid by the department.

SECTION 7. Section 25 of chapter 118E, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking subsection 5 and inserting in place thereof the following:- funds, up to a maximum of eleven hundred dollars deposited in a trust account and so reserved for the payment of funeral and burial expenses of the applicant or recipient including, but not limited to, the purchase of a plot, the opening of the grave, the fee for religious services, and the monument inscription; the cash surrender value of burial insurance, so called, or prepaid irrevocable burial contracts, so called.