Social assistance payment of funeral expenses

Responsibility: Although the recipient of this service is not the deceased but the person who is obliged to bear the costs according to § 74 SGB XII, the responsibility for paying the funeral costs depends on the circumstances of the...

Although the recipient of this service is not the deceased but the person who is obliged to bear the costs according to § 74 SGB XII, the responsibility for paying the funeral costs depends on the circumstances of the deceased:
With regard to the responsibility, a special regulation is made in § 98 Para. 3 SGB XII.
Local responsibility for covering the funeral costs is therefore the social welfare agency that granted social welfare up to the death of the beneficiary or subordinately in whose area the place of death is.


  • If a deceased person in Hamburg received social assistance until death,
    then the district social services office that has been providing help up to now is also responsible for approving the benefit in accordance with Section 74 of the XII Book of the Social Code.
  • If someone died in Hamburg, was registered in Hamburg, but did not receive any social assistance until his death,
    then the district social service office in whose area the deceased was registered is responsible.
  • If someone died in Hamburg, was not registered in Hamburg and received social assistance from an external social welfare agency up to the time of death,
    then this institution is also responsible for the approval of the § 74 SGB XII benefit.
  • If someone died in Hamburg, never had a registered address in Hamburg and was not in receipt of social assistance,
    then the Hamburg-Mitte district office (M/GS 8) is responsible for approving the service.
  • If someone was placed in a facility/home (with the exception of the Hamburg nursing homes) by the Hamburg social welfare agency and died there,
    then the social service center 11 in the district office Eimsbüttel, Grindelberg 62-66, 20144 Hamburg is responsible for the approval of the service according to § 74 SGB XII as the file-keeping office.
  • The same applies if someone was housed in Hamburg by an external social welfare agency and died there:
    In this case, the external social welfare agency is responsible as the file-keeping office,

If you are obliged to bury a deceased person and you cannot be expected to bear the necessary costs, you can submit an application for payment of the funeral costs.
The burial of the deceased is to be arranged in the following order of priority:
  1. the spouse or registered partner,
  2. the children,
  3. the grandchildren,
  4. the parents,
  5. the grandparents
  6. and the siblings.
If, during the lifetime of the deceased, it was contractually stipulated who is responsible for the burial, this person must arrange for the burial independently of the public-law burial obligation.

Important notes


Only a person who is required to have a funeral is entitled to apply.

Documents required

Documents depend on the individual case. In principle, the following documents are required:

Evidence of the deceased:
  • Proof of death (death certificate or death certificate)
  • Preparation and valuation of the estate with proof of assets, in particular:
    • complete checking account statements for the last 3 months
    • Savings books, investments
    • home ownership
    • Insured amount of life insurance
    • market value of the vehicle
    • Building savings and the like
  • if available: will or contract of inheritance
  • List of possible heirs and family members of the deceased (spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents or cohabiting partners, other heirs)
Evidence of the applicant:
  • Certificate of inheritance or proof of waiver of inheritance
  • Copies of the type and amount of income for the last 3 months
  • Information on other relatives of the deceased (e.g. heirs living in the household and relatives of the deceased)
  • Evidence of financial circumstances
  • Evidence of monthly charges
  • Rental contract and last declaration of rent increase by the landlord (current rent amount)
If the application is only made after the funeral, the original invoice from the funeral home must be submitted.

Please note

In principle, the criterion for jurisdiction is not the place of death, but the registered address.
If someone did not receive social assistance benefits, died in Hamburg and was registered outside of Hamburg, the district of Hamburg-Mitte is responsible.


There is no need to pay attention to the deadlines.

However, it is advisable to clarify the question of who will bear the costs in good time with the competent authority.

Procedure & Fees


An application must be made to have the funeral expenses covered. As soon as the application and the necessary evidence are available, processing can take place.
After the complete application has been checked, you will receive a notification from the competent authority.

Processing time

The application will be decided immediately. The processing time depends, among other things, on the completeness of the information and the submission of the evidence required for processing the application.



Legal notes

Legal remedies


Legal basis

§ 74 Social Code - Twelfth Book (SGB XII)

Section 98 paragraph 3 of the Social Security Code - Twelfth Book (SGB XII)

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