H. B. 2173
(By Delegates Miller, Reynolds and Morgan)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization.]
(February 19, 2013)
A Bill to amend and reenact §9-5-18 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to funeral expenses for indigent
persons; restricting payments for funeral services to those
provided by a funeral director licensed by the state of West
Virginia; and restricting payments for burial services to
those provided by a person or business entity authorized by
West Virginia law.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §9-5-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.
§9-5-18. Funeral expenses for indigent persons; filing of
affidavit to certify indigency; penalties for false
swearing; payment by division.
(a) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall pay for reasonable funeral service expenses or reasonable burial expenses
for indigent persons in an amount not to exceed $1,250.
(b) For purposes of this section, the indigency of a deceased
person is determined by the filing of an affidavit with the
department, in a form provided by and determined in accordance with
the income guidelines as set forth by the department: (1) Signed
by the heir or heirs-at-law which states that the estate of the
deceased person is pecuniarily unable to pay the costs associated
with a funeral or burial; or (2) signed by the county coroner or
the county health officer, the attending physician or other person
signing the death certificate or the state medical examiner stating
that the deceased person has no heirs or that heirs have not been
located after a reasonable search and that the deceased person had
no estate or the estate is pecuniarily unable to pay the costs
associated with a funeral or burial.
(c) Payment shall be made by the department to the person or
persons who have furnished the services and supplies for the
indigent person's funeral or burial expenses or to the persons who
have advanced payment for same, as the department may determine,
pursuant to appropriations for expenditures made by the Legislature
such that purpose.
(d) For purposes of this section, "reasonable funeral service
expenses" means expenses for funeral services provided by a West
Virginia licensed funeral director,
for the disposition of human remains and "reasonable burial expenses" means expenses for burial
services provided by a person or business entity authorized by West
Virginia law to provide burial services.
Any A person who knowingly swears falsely in an affidavit
required by this section shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor and,
upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or
confined in the county or regional jail a correctional facility for
a period of not more than six months, or both.