Burial Assistance

Burial Assistance (BA) is a burial program for individuals who lack all other available resources. The program assists families with expenses such as funeral home services, a casket, and cross or headstone, transportation of the remains to Bethel.

Funds are not used for transportation for family members and/or loved ones.

Application must be completed by the surviving spouse or the relative responsible for making the funeral arrangements. It’s important for our office to have one point of contact to avoid any mistakes in communication. It is equally important for that point of contact to be in communication with one case worker, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Eligibility Requirements

Deceased must be an Alaska Native or American Indian and have lived in Bethel for at least six consecutive months prior to their death. There are some exceptions. Determination will be on a case-by-case basis.

Eligibility is based on the income and resources available to the deceased, which includes but is not limited to Supplementary Security Income (SSI), veterans’ death benefits, social security, and Individual Indian Money (IIM).

Determination of need will be accomplished on a case-by-case basis using the current BIA payment standard.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted within 30 days following death. We do not require a death certificate.

Please have the following available:

  • Copy Tribal ID
  • Copy of Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood if no Tribal ID
  • Invoice from funeral home
  • Estimate of cost of coffin, cross, or headstone
  • Estimate of shipping costs for remains

Other documents may be needed based on your family’s needs.

The goal of the 477 Department staff is to help in any way that we can. We have information available in our office about the Burial Assistance Program, as well as other resources that you may be eligible for to help with the process of burying a loved one.

Burial Assistance Application

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