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Funerals/Burial Expense in Oregon


QUESTION: If you are an adult ward of the state in Oregon, is Oregon responsible for paying the burial expenses?

ANSWER: Bonnie

The State of Oregon does not have a program to cover burial/cremation expenses for adult wards of the state. The individual or the person who is handling their care and/or finances should set up a pre-paid plan with a funeral director to cover the costs of final disposition of the persons body.

I hope this helps,

Erin Phelps

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The adult who is a ward of the state is a drug addict/alcoholic who is dying of cancer. She is on SSI. There is no other adult responsible. Does SS pay for the burial costs?

And Erin thank you so much for the quick follow-up and answer. I am doing this for my friend. It is her adult daughter we are talking about.



Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but SS and/or SSI do not pay anything towards burial/cremation costs.  Though if she is incarcerated in an Oregon State facility the state will take care of her body by cremation if no one else claims her body. Otherwise her legal next of kin may contact the Whole Body donation program at Oregon Health & Science University (503-494-8302) to see if they would accept her body for use as a cadaver for the medical school students. After the students are finished with the remains, the body would be cremated and returned to the family.  The State does have an Indigent Disposition fund, but this for someone who dies without any family or friends to claim the body.

Hope this helps,

Erin Phelps


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Erin Phelps


I can answer any questions about funerals,embalming, cremation, green burial, home funerals, burial on your own land, scattering of cremated remains and any other death related questions you may have.


I have worked in the death care industry since 1977, owning my own funeral home since 1990. I worked as an EMT at a funeral home based ambulance service for 6 years gain much experience there. When I opened my funeral home, my goal was to provide honest, straightforward, significant and affordable services to the families who called upon me for my services. Since Sept. 2008, I have served as a member of the Oregon State Mortuary & Cemetery Board, which regulates the operation of mortuarys and cemeteries in Oregon. I have been a regular attendee and speaker at various funeral related seminars over the years and am a frequent contributor to "Mortuary Management" magazine. I was one of the first funeral directors in Oregon to offer "Green" or "Natural" burial services and to offer assistance to families who wish to take care of their own family members at home. I also have vast experience in the repatriation of a deceased to their country of origin.

Oregon Funeral Directors Association, International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association, Cremation Association of America, Funeral Ethics Association Natural End Funeral Services - Charter Member.

Mortuary Management Funeral Monitor Funeral Service Insider

Attended the University of Oregon Associates of Science Degree - Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon

Awards and Honors
Top 10 Eye Enucleators in Oregon. Nationally Board Certified Funeral Director/Embalmer Honored in "Funeral Monitor", Aug. 2007 for my business practices.

Past/Present Clients
Since 1990, I have served over 10,000 families, requesting the gamute of services ranging from the simplest to the most elaborate. Servicing christian, jewish, muslim, buddhist, hindu and humanists, along with families from every continent in the world.

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