SECTION 1. Chapter 18 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 39 the following new section:-
SECTION 40 (a) The department shall establish under this chapter a program to reimburse cities and towns for funeral and burial costs expended by the town for families or loved ones of deceased residents who are unable to afford the cost of funeral services or burials. The department may reimburse cities for one hundred percent of funeral and burial costs dispensed and the costs for each individual may not exceed exceeding $1,100 toward the funeral and final disposition of a recipient to a funeral establishment if there are insufficient resources to pay for the cost of such funeral and final disposition and if the total expense of the funeral and final disposition does not exceed $3,500. The commonwealth shall have the right of reimbursement from whatever resources may exist in the estate of the recipient.
(b) Cities and towns may establish programs using criteria that are appropriate for their own community to determine if families are eligible for burial assistance.
(c) The department shall reimburse cities and towns no later than 60 days after an initial claim under this program is made by the city.
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