November 22, 2017

Can Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Recover From a Pre – Paid Funeral or Life Insurance Proceeds?

Pre-paid funeral arrangements are excluded from recovery by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare if they are deposited with a funeral director or financial institution under a written agreement and if the funds could not be withdrawn before the death of the named beneficiary. Under Pennsylvania law, the Department of Public Welfare will exclude such funds provided the amount is not exorbitant. The Department of Public Welfare may consider a burial reserve exorbitant if it exceeds average local costs by more than 25%. If the amount in the reserve is considered exorbitant, the excess amount may be considered reasonable if the applicant can demonstrate that the amount is not exorbitant for the deceased person’s situation. Funeral arrangements include items and services such as a casket, cemetery plot, flowers, and obituary, as well as costs for rabbis, priests, or ministers.

Under Pennsylvania regulations, life insurance that includes a cash value may be excluded up to a maximum face value of $1,500 for each insured person. If the life insurance of an insured person has a total face value in excess of $1,500, only the cash surrender value in excess of $1,000 shall be considered a resource to the owner, and recoverable by the Department of Public Welfare.

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