A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 40-6-3.10 of the General Laws in Chapter 40-6 entitled "Public Assistance Act" is hereby amended to read as follows:
40-6-3.10. Funeral and burial expenses. -- The department may provide for vendor payment of reasonable funeral and burial expenses of deceased residents of this state who are found eligible in accordance with rules and regulations of the department. The department shall, from time to time, establish cost standards for the reasonable funeral and burial expenses, which cost standards shall establish the maximum amount payable by this department for the expenses and the maximum total allowable funeral and burial costs. The amount payable under this section shall be determined with due regard to the income and resources of the deceased and his or her legally-liable relatives, if any, and shall be reduced dollar-for-dollar by contributions of friends or other kindred in excess of the maximum total allowable funeral and burial costs established by the department.
(a) Application for payment of funeral and burial expenses shall be made on behalf of a decedent before final funeral arrangements with a funeral director are concluded. Provided, that any legally-liable relative and/or agent of the decedent may make an application under this section within thirty (30) days after the death of the decedent.
(b) In determining either eligibility for benefits and/or the amount of any reduction in benefits paid under this section, the department shall exclude any of the following forms of income:
(1) veterans' benefits; and/or
(2) social security lump sum benefits.
(c) The department's standard basic allowance payment shall be set at nine hundred dollars ($900).
(d) The amount of the contribution which friends or other kindred, except for legally-liable relatives, may make for upgraded services and merchandise, without affecting eligibility for the basic allowance, shall be set at one thousand six hundred dollars ($1,600).
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.