H. B. 2173
(By Delegates C. Miller, Reynolds and Morgan)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization.]
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; and restricting payments for burial services of
indigents to only those services provided by a funeral
director licensed by West Virginia.
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 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 (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.
(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 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 services provided by a West Virginia
licensed funeral director for the disposition of human remains.
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 for a period of not more
than six months, or both.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to restrict payments for
burial services of indigents to only those services provided by a
funeral director licensed by West Virginia.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would