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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 33 : Human Services


(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 2301)
  • § 2301. Burial responsibility

    (a)(1) When a person dies in this State, or a resident of this State dies within the State or elsewhere, and the decedent was a recipient of assistance under Title IV or XVI of the Social Security Act, or nursing home care under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, or assistance under State aid to the aged, blind, or disabled, or an honorably discharged veteran of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to the extent funds are available and to the extent authorized by Department rules, the decedent's burial shall be arranged and paid for by the Department if the decedent was without sufficient known assets to pay for burial. The Department shall pay burial expenses for individuals that meet the requirements of this section in an amount not to exceed a maximum established by rule and shall establish by rule a process for reducing the maximum payment amount by the amount of other assets available from the decedent's estate or from the decedent's spouse to pay for the burial. The maximum payment by the Department does not preclude other individuals from paying for or receiving contributions to pay for additional disposition expenses.

    (2) The Department shall notify the directors of all funeral homes within the State and within close proximity to the State's borders of its rules with respect to those services for which it pays and the amount of payment authorized for those services. All payments shall be made directly to the appropriate funeral director. In order to receive payment under this section, the funeral director shall provide the Department and the party making the funeral arrangements with an itemized invoice for the specific services that are to be provided at public expense.

    (3) As a condition of payment when arrangements are made other than by the Department, the funeral director shall determine from the person making the arrangements if the decedent was a recipient of assistance or an eligible veteran as specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection, and if the decedent was such a recipient, give notice to the person making the arrangements of the Department's rules.

    (4) If the funeral home director does not advise the person making the arrangements of the Department's rules then that person shall not be liable for expenses incurred.

    (b) When a person dies while an inmate of a State institution and the inmate is without sufficient known assets to pay for burial, the burial shall be arranged and paid for by the State institution.

    (c) In all other cases, the Department shall arrange for and pay up to the maximum amount established by rule for the burial of eligible persons who die in this State or residents of this State who die within the State or elsewhere when the persons are without sufficient known assets to pay for their burial.

    (d) As used in this chapter, "burial" means the final disposition of human remains, including interring or cremating a decedent and the ceremonies directly related to that cremation or interment at the gravesite; "Department" means the Department for Children and Families; and "funeral" means the ceremonies prior to burial by interment, cremation, or other method. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 8, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1969, No. 130, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; 1973, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. April 14, 1974; 1973, No. 207 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1983, No. 216 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 2003, No. 30, § 1; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § E.321.1; 2011, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § E.321.1; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 53, eff. May 20, 2014.)