People who have recently experienced the death of a friend or family member and who cannot raise the funds for a funeral, after all options have been tried, may be eligible to receive a dignified funeral through Funeral AssistanceSA.
The funeral provided is normally a cremation service, except in certain cultural circumstances. If the requirements are for a burial, families may elect to pay the difference between a cremation and a burial.
The income, assets and liabilities of the deceased and their immediate relatives are taken into account when assessing eligibility for assistance through this program.
To be eligible, you must prove all of the following:
- The deceased was a South Australian resident.
- The deceased was in receipt of a pension or benefit or was a low income recipient.
- The deceased's estate and death benefits are estimated to be valued at less than $3,000 when liquidated (including property and shares).
- The deceased's immediate relatives are not in paid employment or are low income recipients.
- The deceased's immediate relatives have insufficient assets to cover the costs of funeral expenses (less than $3,000 of accessible funds).
The funeral must not yet have been arranged or, where a grant is sought after the event, the account must be moderate and not yet fully paid.
What is covered
Funeral AssistanceSA offers two types of assistance.
Full Contract funeral
If you have not already contracted a private funeral director, you may be eligible for a basic, dignified funeral, which includes:
- a weekday service at a church, chapel or graveside
- funeral director's fee
- crematorium or, under special circumstances, cemetery fees
- a basic coffin
- hearse transportation to the funeral
- religious minister or celebrant's fee
- preparation of relevant legal transfer documents
- legal certificate fee (not death certificate)
- memorial book
- simple spray of flowers
- 16-line funeral advertisement
- 'Celebration of Life' DVD.
The interment lease for a cremation or burial plot is owned by Funeral AssistanceSA. Immediate family members may purchase the interment lease from Funeral AssistanceSA.
If you have already contracted a private funeral director and there is an existing debt, you may be eligible for a grant of up to $625 if the funeral cost is moderate. The grant will be paid directly to the funeral director.
If the funeral account has been fully paid, no assistance can be provided.
Before you begin
- a current bank statement from the deceased and all immediate relatives. If you do not have access to a bank statement for the deceased, you must provide their banking details.
- if the deceased has a will, a copy must be supplied
- if the family is estranged, a statutory declaration is required explaining the circumstances.
Before you apply for funeral assistance download and read the Funeral AssistanceSA checklist and note:
- If the deceased died in a motor vehicle accident, funeral expenses may be covered by Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. Contact the South Australian CTP Insurance Personal Injury Helpline on 1300 303 558.
- If the deceased was a victim of crime you may be able to make a claim for funeral costs and/or a grief payment from the Commissioner for Victims' Rights. Phone 8204 9635 or visit the Commissioner for Victims' Rights website.
- If the deceased has superannuation and/or a life insurance policy, the beneficiary may be required to repay the costs of the funeral.
How to apply
1. Complete the form
Download and complete a request for funeral assistance or phone Funeral AssistanceSA on 1300 762 577 and ask for a form to be sent to you.
2. Submit the application
What happens next?
Funeral AssistanceSA may contact you to discuss your application.
If your application for Full Contract funeral assistance is successful, you will be contacted by Funeral Assistance SA's nominated funeral director and a dignified funeral will be organised for the deceased as soon as possible.
If your application for After-the-Event funeral assistance is successful, a grant will be paid directly to the funeral director on your behalf.
If your application is declined, you will be contacted by Funeral AssistanceSA.
Funeral Assistance SA
Phone - 1300 762 577
Email - FuneralAssistanceSA@sa.gov.au
Interpreting and translating
To arrange an on-site or telephone interpreter, or to have a document translated, please call the Interpreting and Translating Centre (ITC) on 1800 280 203.